When exactly will Britain leave the EU? UK parliament debates

From Reuters - November 14, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - When exactly will Britain leave the European Union?

Parliament started hours of debate on Tuesday by arguing over when the two-year negotiating period for Brexit should end and whether there should be a fixed time at all.

It was just the first day of what promises to be a lengthy set of debates in parliament on Prime Minister Theresa Mays blueprint for leaving the EU - debates that will challenge her diminished authority and could force changes to her Brexit plan. [nL5N1NE7BQ]

Her absence on Tuesday on another engagement suggested she was not unduly worried by the initial discussion.

But the debates ill-tempered tone showed the level of anger in a parliament emboldened since May lost her Conservative Partys majority in a June election and was forced to garner the support of a small Northern Irish party to be able to pass legislation.

With catcalls, sarcastic jokes and jeers being bandied about - not just between the two main parties, as is the custom, but often within them - some lawmakers took issue with the governments plans to quit the EU at 11:00 p.m. on March 29.

One, from the opposition Labour Party, said Britain should leave the EU on March 30, 2019, preferring midnight British time to the governments proposal to leave an hour earlier - which would be midnight in Brussels.

That was determined to be technically deficient by the government minister on the opposite side of the House of Commons, who said any amendment trying to move the exit date and time threatened to push Britain into legal chaos if the countrys statute book were not in order when it leaves.



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