ONE thousand days after the British public voted to leave the European Union, Theresa May returned to Brussels, cap in hand, to ask for an extension to Article 50.

Tomorrow has long been the specified date that the country would leave, but with parliament unable to agree on a deal, the Prime Minister was left with little choice.

With no time to make the changes, Mrs May was forced to ask the EU for an extension until June 30.

However, the EU refused to give Mrs May all the time she wanted – instead, she was given until May 22, provided Mrs May’s deal is approved by parliament this week.

If not, then the extension will last until April 12, when Britain would have to give notice that it will take part in this year’s European Parliamentary elections in May.

On Monday, Mrs May warned that a “slow Brexit” will not help the division in the country, while the EU appeared to believe that the UK would crash out without a deal – announcing on Monday that its no deal preparations were completed – but MPs are unlikely to support this course of action in the Commons.

Despite Mrs May’s Withdrawal agreement suffering the biggest parliamentary defeat in history when it was voted down in January by 230 votes, and then the fourth biggest when she brought it before MPs again on March 12, Hexham MP Guy Opperman remains staunch in his support.

Mr Opperman said: “In 2016 I led the remain campaign here in Northumberland.

“Last week, and over the weekend, we have seen the passion of the marchers and petitioners who want to stop the decision of the people in the June 2016 referendum.

“I understand their sincerely held position, but I believe we must respect the referendum result – we cannot simply bypass ballot-box democracy.

“This means leaving the EU, but ensuring a close ongoing relationship – which allows individuals and businesses certainty, rights and continuity moving forward.

“That is why I have continued to work to get parliamentary agreement on the withdrawal deal, agreed by the Prime Minister and the European Union.

“It definitely provides a stable platform for agreeing our departure and a basis for our future relationship with the EU. Recent months have not been easy ones, to say the least, for our parliamentary system, under the pressure of profound differences and disagreements, both within and between political parties and individuals.

“But I am still of the view that we can find a way through this through parliamentary democracy and debate.

“Over the next few days and weeks that is I what I am doing – as we strive hopefully cross party to work through these complex and difficult issues together in order to deliver a solution in the national interest.”

But Hexham Constituency Labour Party chairman, Steve Ginter, believed it was time for the Prime Minister to go.

Mr Ginter said: “It makes your blood boil to hear what a catastrophe it’s becoming.

“The position is clear for Labour – we’re united behind it. All options are on the table, including a second referendum or a people’s vote, particularly if the choice is between no deal and a bad deal.

“We have to give people a chance to review their decision knowing all the negative outcomes on jobs and the economy.

“What I hope will happen is Theresa May will go, and we have a general election.

“The Prime Minister has been torn in different directions by her own cabinet and her MPs.

“It’s time for her to go, and if we could get a general election that would be the best outcome.”

A petition to revoke article 50 has been signed by more than five million people since launching last week, while a march against Brexit in London saw a million people turn out.

Haydon Bridge resident Dan Dowling voted leave in 2016, but now describes himself as a “reluctant Remainer” over fears that Brexit will make the region poorer.

Dan said: “I have a five-year-old son growing up in Haydon Bridge.

“My parents spent their lives building a world that gives me the chance to get at least as far as they got in their lives.

“In turn, I think that is my responsibility as a parent so I’ve changed my mind.

“I owe it to my son.

“It’s universally agreed Brexit will make us all poorer, some say for 10, some for 50 years.

“I understand Guy Opperman’s loyalty, but it’s misguided.

“He shows here, his priority is his career and not our community or my son’s future, which is unacceptable.”