U.K. Gov’t Downplays Suggestion It Will Seek Brexit Delay

LONDON (AP) -
Britain’s Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay. (Reuters/Toby Melville)

The British government is downplaying a report that its chief Brexit negotiator said lawmakers will have to choose between backing Prime Minister Theresa May’s unpopular divorce deal and a delay to the U.K.’s exit from the European Union.

An ITV News correspondent says he overheard negotiator Olly Robbins in a Brussels eatery saying the government would ask Parliament in late March to back her agreement, rejected by lawmakers last month, or seek an extension to the Brexit deadline.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said Wednesday the government is not planning a delay, saying “the prime minister has been very clear that we are committed to leaving on March 29.”

If no deal is approved by the British and European parliaments before March 29, the U.K. faces a messy sudden Brexit.