British PM asks EU to delay Brexit until June 30

British PM asks EU to delay Brexit until June 30

Kerry Wise
April 6, 2019

"We could give the United Kingdom a year-long extension, automatically terminated once the Withdrawal Agreement has been accepted and ratified by the House of Commons", the official said.

Meanwhile, France, which wants the European Union to move on from Brexit and look at reforms proposed by President Emmanuel Macron, hinted it was not ready to accept any delay without a clear plan.

The SNP have hit out at Theresa May's plan for an extension to the Article 50 process until June 30, accusing the Prime Minister of kicking the can down the road.

At the same time, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he will stand for the Brexit Party in European elections - if Britain takes part in them.

Mr Farage also accused the Prime Minister and parliamentarians of trying to "kill Brexit stone dead".

Ms May said Britain would prepare for such an election, but she still hoped that an agreement would be reached sooner, allowing the extension to be ended early.

PPS By requesting a delay to "just" 30 June, Theresa May is trolling those who want a confirmatory referendum, or people's vote, because that delay is nowhere near long enough to accommodate a referendum.

It is not yet known whether President Tusk will recommend they accept Mrs May's request, although he previously mooted a "flexible" extension of up to a year. "I would call it a "flextension", one official said. A short extension if possible, and a long one if necessary.

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And France, which wants the European Union to move on to other business including reforms proposed by President Emmanuel Macron, indicated it was not ready to accept any delay without a clear plan.

"If we are not able to understand the reason why the United Kingdom is asking for an extension, we can not give a positive answer", French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters in Bucharest, when asked about the possible 12-month extension.

"So it's less about the nominal length of time of the extension and more about the mechanism for bringing it to an end once the deal is done", he said.

Justice Minister Barley tweeted that "there can only be an extension with a clear direction", but also proposed a potential way out by adding: "This includes the question of a second referendum".

Brexit is now mired in doubt, almost three years since the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting 52 percent to 48 to leave the bloc.

Yet May herself and many lawmakers in both main parties are strongly opposed, saying it would betray voters and undermine democracy, especially if it offered an option to stay in the EU.

May long insisted that her plan - quitting all European Union institutions, with a 21-month standstill period to negotiate a bespoke free trade deal - was the only viable one.

If an agreement is reached between the government and Labour, it could be debated and voted on by MPs.