British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Saturday that the longer it takes to find a compromise with the opposition Labour Party to secure a parliamentary majority for a Brexit deal, the less likely it is that Britain will leave the European Union.
May has so far failed to secure backing for her negotiated agreement with Brussels as some Conservative lawmakers and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority government, have voted it down.
She has since turned to the opposition Labour Party in a bid to secure a majority for an orderly Brexit although its leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday he was waiting for May to move her Brexit red lines.
“The fact is that on Brexit there are areas where the two main parties agree: we both want to end free movement, we both want to leave with a good deal, and we both want to protect jobs,” May said in comments released by her Downing Street office.
“That is the basis for a compromise that can win a majority in Parliament and winning that majority is the only way to deliver Brexit.”
“The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the U.K. never leaving at all,” she said.
Watch: May asks EU to extend Brexit deadline — again
British Prime Minister Theresa May is requesting that the deadline for her country to leave the European Union be extended until June 30. 2:03
May has asked EU leaders to postpone Britain’s exit from the bloc until June 30. The EU, which gave her a two-week extension the last time she asked, insists she must first show a viable plan to secure agreement on her thrice-rejected divorce deal in the British parliament.
It is the latest twist in a saga which leaves Britain, the world’s fifth-biggest economy, struggling to find a way to honor a 2016 referendum vote to take the country out of the globe’s largest trading bloc.
May reiterated on Saturday her hope that lawmakers would approve a deal to allow Britain to leave the bloc as quickly as possible.
“My intention is to reach an agreement with my fellow EU leaders that will mean if we can agree a deal here at home we can leave the EU in just six weeks,” she said.