Theresa May’s parliamentary bind could make cancelling Brexit her “new default”

Revoking Article 50 could have become the government’s default Brexit position, ITV political editor Robert Peston has revealed.

Following Sunday’s sofa chat in which the Prime Minister revealed the choice over Brexit is a binary one between some version of her negotiated deal and not leaving at all, she could have laid the groundwork for cancelling Brexit to become the “de facto Brexit default”.

Peston said: “The point is that she has no power to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 12 April by delaying Brexit; for a delay, she needs the unanimous agreement of the EU’s 27 leaders.

“But she does have the unilateral power to prevent a no-deal by cancelling Brexit altogether, by revoking the Article 50 application to leave the EU.”

Yvette Cooper yesterday saw her bill to stop no deal get Royal Assent and become law in another dramatic day in parliament.

The Cooper-Letwin Bill hopes to delay leaving the EU past April 12 to avoid the potential repercussions of a no deal exit, but May still has to convince EU leaders of why the UK should be granted an extension.

Peston revealed government sources have said there is no intensifying of no-deal preparations in Whitehall, which you would expect if there was any serious prospect of the UK leaving without a deal in just a few days.

He added: “The Prime Minister has consistently pledged she won’t revoke Article 50, but what she said on Sunday – about the UK facing a simple binary choice between her Withdrawal Agreement and no Brexit – makes no sense unless she is prepared to cancel the UK’s departure from the EU.”

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