Attorney General Geoffrey Cox: Britain is heading for a 'long' Brexit delay

Posted On: 
5th April 2019

Theresa May will be forced to accept a lengthy Brexit delay when she meets Brussels chiefs next week, Geoffrey Cox has admitted.

Geoffrey Cox says the UK should 'use any lawful means' to leave the EU.
PA Images

In comments likely to infuriate eurosceptic Tory MPs, the Attorney General said any extension to the Article 50 process will be "longer than just a few weeks or months".

He also said the Government "must use any lawful means" to deliver Brexit - indicating that ministers were willing to make concessions on a customs union or even a second referendum in order to get a deal agreed.

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The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday that she was seeking talks with Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to agree a joint Brexit position to present to the Commons.

She also said that she would be asking the EU for an extension to Article 50 that was "as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal".

But speaking to the BBC's Political Thinking podcast, Mr Cox indicated that any delay was "likely to be a long one and by which I mean longer than just a few weeks or months".

He said that as a result of Yvette Cooper's bill forcing the Government to seek an extension, Mrs May "would have little choice" but to accept whatever the EU Council offered.

Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Cox dropped a clear hint that the Prime Minister is willing to make major compromises to ensure she gets a Brexit deal that a majority of MPs can support.

He said: "I say we must use any means to secure the ends, any lawful means, I should say as Attorney General.

"We are assisting at the birth of something new.  Births are not always easy and we must take the necessary steps to achieve our departure. Those 17.4 million voted for something new. We must give them that something new. That is our independence of the EU."