EU leaders give May three weeks to come up with a plan if her deal isn’t passed…

“European Union leaders last night handed Theresa May a three-week lifeline to come up with an alternative Brexit plan if her withdrawal deal is not approved by MPs. After nearly seven hours of wrangling the 27 leaders agreed to give Mrs May an unconditional extension until April 12 to “indicate a way forward”. If her deal is passed, Brussels will give the government until May 22 to pass the legislation that would implement Brexit. If the deal is not agreed by the April deadline, however, Britain will be forced to choose between a no-deal Brexit or agreeing to hold European elections in return for a longer extension to the Article 50 process.” – The Times

  • Prime Minister’s appeal falls flat as EU ‘seizes control’ of exit date – The Guardian
  • Pound firms after May is allowed more time – FT
  • Cracks emerge as Brussels squabbles over ‘inevitable’ no deal – The Times
  • EU leaders open door to long delay – The Scotsman
  • Merkel angry at Macron and Tusk for risking hardest Brexit – Daily Express
  • Varadkar thinks EU should cut UK some slack – FT


  • Truss urges May to embrace no deal instead of delay – The Sun
  • How May decided she was prepared to accept a no-deal departure… – FT
  • …and wrecked her strategy to win over Brexiteers – FT
  • Ministry of Defence’s bunker plan – The Times



…as Remain ministers launch fresh bid to block ‘no deal’

“Remain ministers have warned the Prime Minister that they are prepared to quit unless she gives them a free vote on a new backbench bid to stop no deal. A cross-party group of MPs is on Friday expected to table a new amendment that will force the Prime Minister to accept a longer extension to Article 50 if her deal fails. The amendment, which will be voted on next week, will mean that if Mrs May’s deal is defeated Parliament – rather than the Prime Minister – will decide whether to accept any offer of a longer extension of Article 50 from Brussels. A group of eight Remain ministers met Julian Smith, the Chief Whip, on Thursday to demand a free vote on the amendment to avoid the threat of mass resignations.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Petition to cancel Brexit hits 2.5 million signatures – Daily Mail
  • TUC and CBI unite to sound alarm over ‘no-deal’ – The Times
  • Prime Minister ignores rising calls to rule out cliff-edge exit – The Sun
  • Rudd takes aim at May’s plan in letter to resident – Daily Telegraph


  • Corbyn won’t rule out revoking Article 50… – The Times
  • …and he will meet Barnier before summit – The Guardian
  • Audience mock Labour leader’s walkout on Question Time – Daily Express
  • Backbenchers carry party torch at second referendum march – The Times

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Zombie May and her Zombie Cabinet


May apologises to MPs…

“Theresa May has conceded MPs are as frustrated by the Brexit process as she is after yesterday’s accusatory Number 10 speech sparked fury in the Commons. The Prime Minister was blasted for pitting the public against MPs after she claimed, ‘I am on your side’ and that the public were fed up of ‘political games.’ Mrs May referred to her televised speech in Brussels on Thursday night, saying: ‘I expressed my frustrations and I know that MPs are frustrated too – they have difficult jobs to do.’ Parliamentarians on both sides of the House had slammed the PM’s speech, to the extent that Speaker John Bercow was prompted to reassure MPs, ‘None of you is a traitor.’… Mrs May was warned that her remarks had put them in danger of physical attack by angry members of the public.” – Daily Mail

  • Chastened leader seeks to make amends after ‘cataclysmic’ 24 hours – FT
  • Bercow orders Leadsom to sit down in fresh spat – Daily Express
  • Hague warns that UK is heading for another election – The Sun

>Today: Video: WATCH: U-turn! May offers an apology to MPs. More or less. (After all, her deal needs their votes.)

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Bercow implores MPs to “raise the level” of debate… then orders Leadsom to sit down

…as Chief Whip ‘joins parliamentary revolt’ against May’s speech…

“Theresa May’s chief whip has joined a full-scale revolt against her effort to turn voters’ anger on parliament that left her almost without allies. Julian Smith told Conservative MPs he agreed that her effort to deflect Brexit chaos was “appalling”. Tory whips are furious that Mrs May’s address has wrecked efforts to gain enough support for her Brexit deal to have a chance of it passing after it was defeated by 391 votes to 242 at a second meaningful vote last week. They say that the gap had been at its narrowest before her statement. Mark Francois, a hardline Brexiteer, told Sky News: “If you’re trying to persuade numbers of MPs to back a proposition, you don’t do that by insulting them.” Philip Lee, a Conservative MP who supports a second referendum, said that MPs deeply resented being cast as “the enemies of the people”.” – The Times

  • Has the Prime Minister cracked her whips? – ITV


  • This offensive speech set the country on a dangerous path – Andrea Jenkyns MP, Daily Telegraph
  • May has trashed our democracy and put MPs in danger – Lisa Nandy MP, The Guardian


  • May’s furious attack on MPs is justified – The Sun
  • Strategic failure – The Times


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