LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) - Britain will probably have to delay its departure from the European Union if lawmakers reject the government’s proposed divorce deal in a vote next week, according to the finance minister Philip Hammond.
Britain is due to leave the EU in 22 days, but if lawmakers reject the deal this will put in doubt how, when or possibly even if Britain’s biggest foreign and trade policy shift in more than 40 years will take place.
“If we don’t pass the meaningful vote on Tuesday we’ll go into a parliamentary process that very likely will lead to an extension of time and an uncertain outcome, more uncertainty for the British economy, more uncertainty for people across the country,” Hammond told broadcasters.
“It’s very important that my colleagues think about the consequences of not agreeing this deal. This is now the last chance to be confident that we can get this deal done and we can leave the EU on schedule.”
Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Kate Holton