Former prime minister Gordon Brown has said Brexit should be delayed for up to a year in a bid to prevent an “impeding national disaster.”
The year delay will enable the government to give proper consideration of the UK’s future relationship with Brussels, Brown said.
Brown said that the extension will allow MPs to listen to the public through “citizens consultation” over the current Brexit proposals.
Brown said, “The logic of extending Article 50 is now inescapable to avoid chaos on 29 March and prevent an impending national political disaster.”
The “ill thought out” Brexit approach has left the UK economy “drastically ill prepared.”
“Decades from now a new generation will look back with stunned disbelief at the way the Brexit debate has been conducted so far,” Brown said.
Europe is supporting an extension, it is “near impossible” for May and MPs to pass the necessary legislation for the Brexit dead line of 29 March.
Brown added, “Leaders agree with their chief negotiator Michel Barnier that an extension has ‘become almost inevitable’ and that they have to try to overcome the technical difficulties of British participation in the European elections and ensure an extension substantially longer than three months.
“It is now clear that Article 50 should be extended, perhaps for a year, not as a delaying tactic or just for MPs to rerun the old arguments in the Westminster bubble, but for a positive purpose, to allow Parliament to reflect, and to begin to bring the country together again.”
Brown added, “Brexit must be delayed long enough for us to reach proper decisions – and restore the nation’s hope and its pride.”
Browns office has said business leaders such as, Baroness Lane-Fox, Sainsbury’s former boss Justin King, former City minister Lord Myners, and Sir Mike Rake, former BT chairman are all backing Brown’s call to extend the Brexit deadline for 12 months.