Anger as Theresa May asks for more time to amend Brexit


The EU-Arab summit, to be held under the chairmanship of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and European Council President Donald Tusk, aims to strengthen relations between the two sides.

British Prime Minister Theresa May told the British media on Sunday that a vote on her Brexit deal would be delayed until the 12th of March, only 17 days before the Brexit deadline.

The gathering comes just days before MPs will on Wednesday decide whether to delay Brexit - set by law to occur on March 29 - in order to prevent Britain exiting the European Union without a deal.

Ms May is now scrambling to secure changes to the divorce text she struck with the bloc in November, hoping to win the support of MPs who last month rejected the deal by a massive margin.

Saeed Sadek, professor of political sociology at the Canadian University in Cairo, told The Associated Press that security would be of prime concern in Sharm el-Sheikh, but he too played down expectations from the summit. But as she said on the way to Sharm el-Sheikh, she does not yet have a new deal to put to the House of Commons.

Sam Gyimah, who quit as a junior minister in May's government over her approach to Brexit, said her latest decision was "shocking".

So far May has insisted that Brexit will happen on March 29, with or without an agreement.

"We must work together - countries of origin, transit and destination - in order to break the business model of smugglers and traffickers who lure people into risky journeys and feed modern-day slavery", said EU Council President Donald Tusk.

Some lawmakers will seek to grab control of Brexit in a series of votes in the British parliament on Feb 27, though such attempts have previously been defeated as May sought more time to get a deal.

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May and her ministers have stepped up meetings in Brussels to secure changes to the so-called backstop - an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border, and potential focus for violence, between Britain's Northern Ireland and the EU's Ireland.

Theresa May has said the vote - on her deal with Brussels or no deal at all - will be decided on.

The UK remains on course to leave the European Union on 29 March.

"What we have seen around the cabinet table, in the party and in the country at large is strong views on the issue of Europe".

"As a result of that we won't bring a meaningful vote to parliament this week".

On Sunday, May also rejected calls from members of her own cabinet to extend Article 50 - the exit clause in the EU's constitution - should she lose the rescheduled vote on her withdrawal plan in the Commons next month, saying it would not solve the ongoing impasse shrouding British politics.

Referring to Labour MP Peter Kyle's amendment, he said: "We're working with them to see can we have a re-draft of that amendment which people could vote for and I think there's a high possibility we could".

In a January report, the World Bank warned that a no-deal Brexit is a risk to the U.K., Europe and any other countries that trade heavily with them.