David Lidington, who serves as minister for the Cabinet Office in Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, said on Tuesday that there was no immediate prospect of a Brexit deal being finalized between May’s conservatives and the opposition Labour Party before May 23, the date set for the EU parliamentary election, Presstv Reported.
“It is regrettably not going to be possible to finish that process before the date that is legally due for the European parliamentary elections ... So those will now go ahead,” said Lidington, who is widely seen as May’s de facto deputy.
The cabinet member said, however, that May and her government would do their best to reach a Brexit deal as soon as possible after the elections, so that Britain will not need to be effectively represented in the European Parliament.
“We will be redoubling our efforts ... to try to make sure that the delay after that is as short as possible. Ideally we would like to be in a situation where those MEPs from the UK never actually take their seats in the European parliament, certainly to get this done and dusted by the summer recess,” he said.
The remarks come amid some intensive talks between the two mainstream political parties in the UK on how to overcome a parliamentary impasse on Brexit.
May has already suffered three defeats on the Brexit deal she signed with the EU in November. Those defeats caused the EU to grant the UK a long extension to divorce negotiations until the end of October.