Welcome to the Guardian's Weekly Brexit briefing, June 2016. If you would like to receive this as a weekly email, please sign up here. And catch our monthly Brexit Means podcast here.

After all that excitement, the briefing is taking a break and will be back on April 30th.

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And: breathe. Two days before Britain could have left the EU without a deal;

After six hours, executives endorsed a "flexure" with a Halloween summit that will review the UK's behavior as a member state, after France's president, Emmanuel Macron, expressed concerns about Britain's capacity to undermine the European project.

Back in London, May sent exhausted MP's home for a 10-day Easter break, urging them to "reflect on the decisions that will make you swiftly on our return". Brexit consensus and shrugged off the call for resignation from the backbenchers angry at its delay.

The extension means British parliamentary elections unless MPs ratify the thrice-rejected withdrawal agreement. 22 May. Tory MPs, who threatened to kill the election campaign and expressed fears for party activists' safety.

6,000 civil servants engaged in it, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, insisted the delay had not been added to the prospect of a second referendum.

David Lidington, the prime minister's de facto deputy, said the government and Labor must reach a compromise in a customs union ,

British Conservative Cabinet minister, Stephen Dorrell, defected to the independent change UK group and ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith urged May to step down before the EU elections. Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, said that any Brexit deal had been agreed.

Meanwhile, Ukip leader Nigel Farage launches his new Brexit party, Brexit Jacob, the sister of hardline Brexiter Jacob.

What next?

Several scenarios remain open for May. Labor and the Conservatives were unable to reach a majority.

If there is no agreement, it may have come to an end.

The PM continues to believe the best way forward and may well bring it back to the commons, perhaps as one option among a series of indicative votes. With the Conservative Polling poorly, however, an election is seen as unlikely, and may want to opt for a second referendum or resign.

My colleague Jessica Elgot puts on a long-term view to the end of the Brexit extension on 31 October, which offers politics, business, citizens and the EU.

Best of the rest

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In the Guardian, former European commissioner and World Trade Organization boss Pascal Lamy says: "Brexit will not resolve everything:


Clearly, staying in a customs union would not be enough to solve the Irish border question. The chlorinated poultry poultry plant is a member of the EU. This is a rule of the single market. Being in a customs union might be better than being in a customs union, but it would come with very real downsides too. It is considered that these are so. The UK now has limited time to make a more informed judgment about what happens next. Whatever it decides, it should be so with its eyes wide open. Otherwise, we could soon find ourselves back on the cliff edge.

And Aditya Chakrabortty argues that while the Tories once had a radical fringe, Brexit means it now encompasses the whole party:


The Conservative Party is becoming the natural party of extremists. It is the new home for hardliners, catastrophists and those wishing to take permanent residence in la-la-land … It is the home of the radical right. That defines the Brexit project; So it's the dying embers of Thatcherism. And so it's a long and honorable tradition in British politics this in front of us, in plain sight. Look at the men and women vying to replace May and they look little different from the Tories you used to know. Their suits are as traditionally roomy, the haircuts just as artless and the complexion as reliable white. But the party is now a haven for conspiracy theorists, cranks and career cowards.

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Brexit omnishambles is doing the Tory party's polling numbers: Political scientist Matthew Goodwin

Matthew Goodwin
(@GoodwinMJ)

Memo to Conservative Party:

Since March 29th you've been just 32.6%
This is Michael Howard's 2005 territory
You've lost 9 pts in a year
You're losing Leavers; support down 12 points in 5 months
UKIP + Brexit Party have doubled in 3 months to 11%

These numbers = PM Jeremy Corbyn


April 15, 2019

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