London.- Rory Stewart, who currently serves as justice minister under Prime Minister Theresa May, said that the government would not heed calls from hundreds of parliament lawmakers who believe there should be an extension to Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty so that Britain could remain part of the EU while deciding what course it should take on Brexit.
Stewart said the government was determined to bring Britain out of the EU on March 29, either based on May's Brexit deal or in a disorderly manner.
"I think we need to get this through as Theresa May is clear. As a Government Minister, our position is that we won't extend Article 50," said Stewart while speaking at a BBC panel.
The remarks come amid a deepening row in the parliament over a Brexit deal signed between May's government and the EU in November. Many believe May will lose a planned vote on the deal in the House of Commons on January 15 as both pro and anti-Brexit lawmakers have openly expressed their opposition to the agreement.
A BBC report says January 15th is the fixed as the date for UK parliament's final vote on Brexit deal. May has indicated that she would not allow a second referendum on Brexit, as proposed by those who support an extension of the Article 50, saying the move would further divide Britain along political lines.
May's government triggered Article 50 after a Brexit referendum on June 23, 2016 in which Britons voted 52-48 for their country to leave the EU after more than four decades.
Stewart said extending Article 50 could not end the current political deadlock over Brexit. "It is a temporary extension at best, the fundamental question is what relationship do you want with the European Union," he said. (RHC)