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Will step down before next phase of Brexit negotiations: PM Theresa May to MPs

Theresa May. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team London, UK Mar 27, 2019, 11.23 PM (IST)

British PM Theresa May has told Conservative MPs that she will be stepping down before the "next phase" of Brexit negotiations as the prime minister readied a last ditch effort to win over rebels in her party.

Reports say eight options have been picked by the Speaker for an indicative vote tonight.

May said "she would not remain in post for the next phase of the negotiations," Conservative Party MP James Cartlidge said.

The British prime minister has been facing heat from her own party in her attempt to push the Brexit deal with the EU giving her reprieve till May 22, however, the deal needs to be passed by the British Parliament by April 12th otherwise the country could crash out of the EU with a no-deal.

Amid the confusing Brexit battle, lawmakers on Wednesday took control of the so-called indicative votes on Brexit, with eight options ranging from leaving abruptly with no-deal to revoking the divorce papers or holding a new referendum.

Earlier in the day, European Council chief Donald Tusk had urged the European Parliament to be open to a long extension and not to ignore those British people who wanted to remain in the EU.

Nearly six million people have signed a petition in the past week calling for Britain to cancel Brexit. Hundreds of thousands marched on Saturday in London to demand a new referendum.

May had told lawmakers that she could fulfil her pledge to take Britain out of the European Union if they backed her divorce deal this week.

The government has said it will only bring the twice-defeated deal back to parliament for another vote if it believes it will be successful. The EU agreed to delay Brexit until May 22 if parliament agrees the deal this week.

May faced accusation from Andrew Bridgen, a member of her own Conservative party who supports a hard Brexit, for not keeping her promise to leave the European Union on March 29 and hence losing confidence from his constituents. "They will never trust the prime minister again," he told parliament.

In response, May said: "We can guarantee delivering on Brexit if, this week, he and others in this house supports the deal."