Any further delay to Brexit will inevitably be long and the UK will have to prepare to hold European elections if it is sought, Theresa May’s Chancellor Philip Hammond has told ITV News’ Robert Peston.
But Hammond suggested that an extension — which Britain will have to request if Cooper’s bill succeeds and May cannot pass her deal by April 12 — could be cut short when Britain is ready to depart.
He said it was important “we have absolute clarity that as soon as we’ve done the deal, we are able to bring that extension to an end,” adding that “it’s less about the nominal time” of the extension and more about how easily Britain can halt it and exit the EU.
Any extension to Brexit, along with the terms of the extension, will have to be approved by the EU.
Hammond also repeated his suggestion that a second, confirmatory referendum is “credible.”
“It’s well known that this is one of the issues that’s been debated,” he said. “It’s a perfectly credible proposition. Some ideas have been put forward which are not deliverable, they’re not negotiable,” but a second vote “deserves” to be voted on, he added.