Peter Foster @pmdfoster Europe Editor of the Daily Telegraph. Formerly based in Washington DC, Beijing and New Delhi. Opinions my own. Mar. 21, 2019 1 min read

A thought/question, oh #Brexit Twitter about what happens if the Withdrawal Agrement is voted down again next week.

How does @theresa_may get sent back to Brussels to ask for an extension she says she will not ask for? 1/Thread

She said: "As prime minister I could not consider a further delay beyond 30 June."

People took that to mean she would resign.

But it could also mean, she would opt for a 'no deal' (Party unity over country) over a long extension. /2

How could Parliament stop her?

Because if you believe EU red line on UK participating in EU elections is immovable then the deadline for that decision is April 12.

Even if May falls (she could lose a 'no confidence' vote whichever ways she breaks) she is PM for 14 days. /3

So that means that for the duration of the March 26-April 12 decision window, May is PM whatever happens.

Perhaps @bbclaurak @SamCoatesTimes @Steven_Swinford @GeorgeWParker know different?

How clear are we that May would not deliver Brexit via a 'no deal'?/4

Time is very tight between her losing MV3 on Tuesday, say, and an emergency EU Council on Thursday.

No time for indicative votes, certainly.

After all, May could argue that Parliament had been given ample opportunity to pass her deal. /5

From a purely Tory party perspective, viewed on a 5-10 year horizon, is delivering Brexit via a "managed" no deal not better than consigning it to the swamps of a long extension? /6

The risk to the EU is that May loses and then they don't get a coherent request for a long extension form @theresa_may.

Or she just asks for the same extension to June 30, or May 23 to keep trying. Would leaders go back on their stance this week? Maybe. /7

Either way next week is shaping up to be a real bottom-clencher. /8 ENDS


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