EXTENDING the time for negotiations before the UK leaves the European Union looks inevitable, an MP has said.

Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami spoke to the Leader about his concerns over the forthcoming March 29 Brexit date and what it could mean for Flintshire and North Wales.

Mr Tami said: “I was a very much a remainer and campaigned for remain. But equally I recognised that the country, however narrowly, voted to leave.

“The issue that has become clear since - and this is for leavers and remainers - is what leave actually means.

“Whichever point of view you have, it is an extremely complicated process.”

He said the country is facing a “very different picture” from what leave campaigners portrayed in the run-up to and the time since the referendum.

Mr Tami said: “We heard things like it would be so easy to get these deals and the EU would give us what we wanted on a stick, that it would be fine and there would be all this money left over for the NHS and no one would be affected.

“If I was a member of any sort of club and then I went to them and said I don’t want to pay my dues any more but I still want to use all the facilities, I think they’d turn round and say - I don’t think so.”

Asked about his thoughts on the current stage of the negotiations, he continued: “Parliament, two or so years ago, started the process - which we were told would be simple.

“We’re now days away and we don’t even have a deal or a likelihood of a deal.

“This was supposed to be the easy bit. This is only the deal to withdraw, not what it looks like afterwards.

“So where are we as it stands from the parliamentary point of view, clearly we have the Prime Minister’s deal which has been rejected pretty convincingly.

“Will she be able to bring something back in the next few weeks that can get through Parliament? I don’t think so.

“She doesn’t seem prepared to really reach across the house and get something everyone could possibly agree on.

“The only thing at the moment that the majority of people in the house don’t want is a no deal.

“She is not prepared to move to our position, which is that we want a permanent customs union and certainly some elements of the single market.

“Her whole strategy has been to keep the Tory party together - which has been to look to appease the ERG (European Research Group), hardliners - and up until now that has clearly failed, but we are getting to the point where we are reaching the cliff edge.

“Maybe Parliament has to admit that it has failed - it has failed to agree a deal and it has failed to find a way through.

“We were supposed to have 40-odd trade deals agreed now. We have six or nine, so we are not in a great shape.”

Mr Tami said he feels it looks “inevitable” that there will have to be some kind of extension to the negotiations before Brexit happens, adding: “I think even some quite hard leavers recognise we’re going to have to do something on that front.

“To me, whether you’re leaver or remainer, I don’t see many other ways through this unless something dramatic changes and I don’t know what would happen.”

On the possibility of a public vote on the final deal, he said: “You may well get a bigger leave vote than last time - that is a possibility. Equally you may get a vote the other way.

“But going forwards at least the people will have voted on what this actually looks like in the cold light of day.

“Whatever the outcome, it is going to be a big old job trying to knit this country back together again because it is very divided.”

Mr Tami also spoke of his concerns over what the impact of Brexit could be for Flintshire and its industries.

He explained: “We heavily depend on our manufacturing industry and we have some big companies like Airbus and Toyota who have certainly raised the dangers of a no deal Brexit.

“I am not someone who will say Airbus or Toyota will close the day after [Brexit] - it isn’t and never was about that.

“It is whether those companies choose to invest here in the future if we don’t have the appropriate trading arrangements with the rest of the EU and the world, and that is a major concern.

“I’m aware of certainly one company in particular that has either put on hold or are not coming here as a direct result of what they see as uncertainty.

“I hope we actually get something that means that we secure a future for people - that is where my concern is.

“What I don’t want is a no deal situation. I think that’s catastrophic.”