Britain’s exit from the European Union looks set to be delayed by as long as a year in a blow for Theresa May that risks a destabilizing backlash at home. European Council President Donald Tusk rejected May’s request for a brief postponement to the U.K.’s membership, saying it would create a “rolling series of short extensions and emergency summits, creating new cliff-edge dates.” Leaders will finalize the length of the delay to Brexit at a summit on Wednesday.
Theresa May has promised Tory MPs she will quit if they back her Brexit deal. She told backbench Tories: “I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party.” The PM said she knew that Tory MPs did not want her to lead the next phase of Brexit negotiations “and I won’t stand in the way of that”. But the DUP said it had not changed its position and would still vote against the deal.
For the second time in as many months, British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s divorce deal with the European Union. Tuesday’s defeat came only 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the 28-country bloc. Lawmakers rejected her deal 391 to 242, which was similar to the previous vote. They are now set to decide in the next few days whether to leave the E.U. without an agreement — an idea likely to be rejected due to its potentially devastating economic impact — or to ask the E.U. to delay Brexit beyond the scheduled March 29 departure date.
British ISIS bride Shamima Begum’s baby died Friday of pneumonia after being rushed to hospital with a lung infection. The 19-year-old and newborn Jarrah had recently been living at a desert refugee camp after being told she had been stripped of her British citizenship. A paramedic at the scene told the BBC the baby was having breathing difficulties and was taken to hospital along with Begum on Thursday morning. Innocent Jarrah, who was a British citizen, is now the teen’s third child to die after she fled the UK to join up with the terror group in Syria.
Ireland’s police service said on Tuesday it was helping British colleagues investigate who mailed three small bombs to two of London’s airports and a major rail station on Tuesday. No one was injured by the devices, one of which caused a small fire in an office building at Heathrow Airport, Europe’s busiest air hub. The packages were posted from the Republic of Ireland, according to a senior European government source, and Ireland’s police service confirmed it was helping British police to investigate.
Shamima Begum, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, is to lose her UK citizenship. Whitehall sources said it was possible to strip the 19-year-old of British nationality as she was eligible for citizenship of another country. Her family’s lawyer, Tasnime Akunjee, said they were “disappointed” with the decision and were considering “all legal avenues” to challenge it. She was found in a Syrian refugee camp last week after reportedly leaving Baghuz – IS’s last stronghold – and gave birth to a son at the weekend.
A teenager who traveled to Syria to join Islamic State has called on people in the UK to have sympathy for her, the day after giving birth to a boy in a refugee camp. Shamima Begum, 19, who left the UK with two school friends in 2015, spoke to the Times while heavily pregnant earlier this week from the al-Hawl refugee camp in north-eastern Syria. She said she was desperate to come back to the UK. Begum married Yago Riedijk, 27, a Dutch convert to Islam, 10 days after arriving in the city of Raqqa in 2015. She had two children, both of whom died.
John Cantlie, a British journalist who was taken hostage in Syria in 2012 and appeared in a number of ISIS propaganda videos during his time in captivity, is believed to be alive, UK Security Minister Ben Wallace said Tuesday. Cantlie, an experienced war photographer, was covering the Syrian conflict when he was abducted alongside American journalist James Foley, who was later beheaded by ISIS. Asked generally about British hostages around the world, Wallace said the UK does not pay ransom and discourages other countries from doing so.
An attempt by British lawmakers to prevent a no-deal Brexit was gaining momentum on Wednesday after the opposition Labour Party said it was highly likely to throw its parliamentary weight behind the bid. The United Kingdom, in the deepest political crisis since World War Two, is due according to law to leave the European Union at 2300 GMT on March 29, yet it has no approved deal on how the divorce will take place. Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to break the deadlock after last week’s crushing defeat of her two-year attempt to forge an orderly divorce raised the prospect of an exit without a deal.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has seen off a bid to remove her government from power, winning a no-confidence vote by 325 to 306. Rebel Tory MPs and the DUP – who 24 hours earlier rejected the PM’s Brexit plan by a huge margin – voted to keep her in Downing Street. Giving her reaction to the result, Mrs May told MPs she would “continue to work to deliver on the solemn promise to the people of this country to deliver on the result of the referendum and leave the European Union”.