No doubt Brexit is happening: May issues leave date, time, and stark warning for bill blockers

No doubt Brexit is happening: May issues leave date, time, and stark warning for bill blockers
British Prime Minister Theresa May has set out the specific hour that the UK will leave the European Union, giving a clear warning to Tory rebels with any plans to block the Brexit bill: shape up or ship out.

“The government has this week published a cross-party backed amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which puts on the face of the Bill the date of our departure from the European Union,” May said in a letter penned to the Telegraph on Thursday.

“Let no-one doubt our determination or question our resolve, Brexit is happening.”

May revealed the exact date and time that the UK will leave the EU – and it seems the UK is getting out early, opting out at midnight Brussels time, which is an hour ahead of the UK.

“It will be there in black and white on the front page of this historic piece of legislation: the United Kingdom will be leaving the EU on March 29, 2019 at 11pm GMT,” May wrote.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the EU Withdrawal Bill, which returns to the Commons on Tuesday, will now include the date and time to avoid any “confusion.”

“We’ve listened to members of the public and Parliament and have made this change to remove any confusion or concern about what “exit day” means,” Davis told the Mail Online.

Davis will travel to Brussels today for the latest round of Brexit negotiations.

Labeling the Brexit Bill as the “single most significant piece of legislation in this Parliament,” May called for members on both sides of the house to come together to scrutinize the bill.

“That Parliamentary process is important and I am clear that where Members of Parliament think they can improve the Bill, this government will listen to them,” she said.

The PM also added a clear warning: tomfoolery and bill blocking will not be tolerated.

“But I am just as clear of this: we will not tolerate attempts from any quarter to use the process of amendments to this Bill as a mechanism to try to block the democratic wishes of the British people by attempting to slow down or stop our departure from the European Union,” she added.

Former diplomat Lord Kerr, who was crucial in the construction of Article 50, believes that May is misleading the country when she insists that Brexit is beyond the point of no return. Excerpts of an upcoming speech by Kerr have been posted online, making his stance clear – the UK has free choice about whether to proceed with exiting the EU, and the British people have a right to know.

“The fact is that a political decision has been made, in this country, to maintain that there can be no going back,” Kerr will say in his speech. “Actually, the country still has a free choice about whether to proceed. As new facts emerge, people are entitled to take a different view. And there's nothing in Article 50 to stop them. I think the British people have the right to know this – they should not be misled.

“...May's letter was only a notification of the UK's ‘intention’ to withdraw. Intentions can change. We still have all the rights of a member-state, including the right to change our minds and our votes, as member-states frequently do, for example after elections. The Article is about voluntary withdrawal, not about expulsion: we don't have to go if at any stage, within the two years, we decide we don't want to.”

Kerr will present his speech today in central London, at an event hosted by the Open Britain campaign.