Published: Thu, April 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Angela Merkel backs ‘longer’ Brexit delay than Theresa May’s request

Angela Merkel backs ‘longer’ Brexit delay than Theresa May’s request

Mrs May gave a one-hour presentation setting out her case for an extension to June 30, with a break clause allowing the United Kingdom to leave as soon as her Withdrawal Agreement was ratified.

Nicola Sturgeon led calls for the United Kingdom to use extra time granted through a fresh Brexit delay to hold a second European Union referendum.

Macron had sought to maintain the pressure on Britain to act with an "enhanced duty of honest cooperation" during the extra period of membership following the threats from Brexiters, including Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, that the United Kingdom could seek to disrupt the bloc from within.

The President of the European Council revealed his "quiet dream" after the bombshell announcement Brexit Day would be delayed until October 31 following a nine-hour summit.

Our common objective is to get withdrawal agreement ratified.

The unanimous agreement of all 27 remaining European Union states is needed to avoid a no-deal Brexit on the scheduled date of April 12.

However Mrs Merkel, who met Mrs May in Berlin on Tuesday ahead of the Brussels summit, suggested they "may well" go for a longer delay, although the United Kingdom would be allowed to leave "very quickly" if Parliament approves a withdrawal deal.

Merkel argued that a short delay would not offer any prospect of the impasse in Westminster being broken and the delay should instead end on 31 December.

"The Conservative purports to be the party of Brexit but it is not".

"I think that the extension is long enough to get a deal through".

In the warning, which he asked "be taken into account" during today's EU Council talks, Mr Cash wrote: 'It is a fundamental principle of British constitutional law that the Government may not use their powers - including their powers to make worldwide agreements - so as to frustrate the intention of Parliament.

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The EU27 also emphasised their right to meet without the United Kingdom on key long-term decisions.

"At this stage, in my view, nothing should be taken for granted", Macron told reporters upon his arrival in Brussels.

Macron insisted on clarity from May about what Britain wants, warning: "Nothing should compromise the European project".

Eurosceptic Conservative MP Bill Cash wrote a letter to Donald Tusk claiming that "any decision by the Prime Minister to accept a long extension to Article 50 is likely to be challenged in the United Kingdom courts".

The prime minister also asked the leaders to avoid a situation in which she would have to return to Brussels to ask for a further extension.

He said the United Kingdom could still leave before that date if it got an agreement through Parliament in time and that ministers were committed to leaving at the "earliest opportunity".

"The problems the Prime Minister is attempting to solve were not created by the decision to leave the European Union, rather the ineffective negotiations by the Prime Minister to implement that decision", he claimed.

"We will shape this extension in such a way that, whenever Britain has approved the Withdrawal Agreement, Britain can then complete its orderly withdrawal very shortly after", she told German MPs.

"So we could leave on May 22 and start to build our brighter future". PM May is, however, aiming to get the deal through parliament before 22 May (which would mean the United Kingdom would not have to go ahead with the European elections).

"The Government side has been engaged in the detail explaining its position and how it sees its own deal, which has been rejected three times in Parliament".

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