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

Theresa May seeks Brexit delay from Merkel and Macron

Theresa May seeks Brexit delay from Merkel and Macron

European Union leaders are set to grant Britain a long extension of Article 50 - the mechanism that notifies the EU that the United Kingdom will leave the bloc - at an emergency summit on Wednesday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned Theresa May the European Union is likely to agree to a longer Brexit delay than the one she is asking for.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Tory backbencher Craig Tracey said she should abandon her "diluted deal" and take Britain out on World Trade Organisation terms, while Henry Smith warned that an extension would cost the United Kingdom £1 billion a month.

The UK is now due to leave the European Union at 23:00 BST on Friday. The other 27 leaders of European Union nations are deciding whether to give her what she wants - an extension to Article 50 to no later than June 30 - or, as seems more likely, impose a humiliating longer delay to leaving the trade bloc.

European Council president Donald Tusk has suggested offering the United Kingdom a "flexible" extension to Brexit of up to a year, with the option of leaving earlier if a deal is ratified. "If [the talks with Labour] fail the prime minister has said that we will come back to parliament ... and seek to get a consensus on various options", he said.

However the prospect of an extended delay has infuriated many Conservative MPs, already angry that the United Kingdom has missed its original departure date of March 29.

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Michael Brown said he has become so fed up with the Tories, he has now joined Nigel Farage's Brexit Party in anticipation of the United Kingdom taking part in the European elections.

Mr Barclay insisted the Prime Minister did not want to see a lengthy delay, which was why the Government was asking only for an extension to the end of June.

The depth of the anger within the Tory ranks was underlined by a Commons vote on Tuesday, when 97 Tory MPs voted against a motion backing Mrs May's call for an extension which only passed with the support of opposition MPs. The Government has agreed a deal with the EU.

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". "That is why the request today is to June 30 in order that we can leave as soon as possible", he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. The Prime Minister doesn't want to see a long extension.

"This is why I believe we should also discuss an alternative, longer extension". He said in his open letter Tuesday night that a delay to 30 June wouldn't give May enough time to ratify the deal in parliament.

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