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Christian MPs defend Brexit delay

Thu 14 Mar 2019
By Marcus Jones

Christian MPs from across the political divide have been defending a potential delay to the Brexit process.

MPs want to extend the deadline past the current one of March 29 to allow more time for a smoother exit from the EU.

While some hope it'll give more time for Theresa May to negotiate further with European leaders, others hope a delay will lead to a rethink of the whole process.

 

Any delay to the process would have to be approved by the EU

Speaking to Premier, Stephen Timms, a Christian and the Labour MP for East Ham suggested at this late stage, a delay in inevitable.

He said: "I think it's clear that we just don't have time, whatever happens to get it all sorted out by the end of this month.

"So we must go to the European Union to make it clear we want to extend the deadline. They will want to know the reason.

"I think there is a strong case for us to have quite a long extension rather than a short extension, for example, to allow us to hold a further public vote because it may well be but the only way now that we can resolve the situation that we're in."

Timms also addressed criticism that MPs haven't been able to deliver the will of the British public,

"Yes, I do understand that," he said. "It's the result unfortunately of the fact that there was absolutely no plan for leaving the EU in place when article 50 was triggered two years ago. I think people thought there must have been some idea about what the basis for our departure was going to be. But it turns out there wasn't. And that has led to the mess we are now in.

Dame Caroline Spelman is MP for Meridan and acts as a link between the Church of England and the Government in Parliament.

Speaking before Thursday's vote, she defended any potential delays.

She said: "I'll be voting for an extension. And it's blindingly obvious that we need one because we don't have enough time now 15 days to legislate for the Prime Minister's deal, even if it had gone through this week.

"We will get another chance to vote on it next week. It may not be a perfect deal but the businesses around me in the West Midlands say it's good enough, and it will protect jobs and livelihoods but there isn't enough time in Parliament before the 29th of March to enact the necessary legislation. So asking for an extension is essential.

Spelman told Premier she continues to pray with fellow MPs on both sides of the Brexit divide.

She said: "I have to believe that God is in control, because it is a very chaotic situation and it's distressing.

"This doesn't feel like a very normal situation, and it isn't. So when you're in a crisis, you just have to pray that God is sovereign and he has his hand on this, though I can't see the outworking of this.

"My prayer is that the right outcome will be arrived at."

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