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UK’s May asks EU for Brexit delay, but France’s Macron says ‘premature’ | All Charts News - breaking news english

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Date created : 05/04/2019 – 10:19Latest update : 05/04/2019 – 12:03

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk Friday asking for a delay to Brexit until June 30 so she can get the divorce deal through the British Parliament. But France remains cautious.

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“The United Kingdom proposes that this period should end on 30 June 2019,” May said in the letter.

May said that if an agreement was reached before this date, then Britain proposed that the extension should be ended early.

“The government will want to agree a timetable for ratification that allows the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union before 23 May 2019 and therefore cancel the European Parliament elections, but will continue to make responsible preparations to hold the elections should this not prove possible,” she said.

The prime minister says she is still hopeful of reaching a compromise agreement in the UK parliament so Britain can leave the EU before the elections.

France cautious

French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants to hear a clear reason from May as to why Brexit should be delayed yet again — a move that would add to uncertainties weighing on business across the bloc.

Macron has thus far seemed cautious about giving Britain more time, and any extension will need unanimous approval from all 27 EU nations.

France considers talks of granting Britain another extension to the Brexit negotiation period as premature, a source close to Macron told REUTERS on Friday.

The French diplomatic source slammed as “clumsy” comments by an EU official mentioning a “flexible extension” of the date of the country’s exit from the European Union of up to one year.

Officials say Tusk, the European Council head, is urging member states to offer a 1-year flexible extension to the UK.

Another extension?

The current deadline is April 12, which has already been pushed back once from March 29 because of the UK parliament’s failure on three occasions to back the deal May signed with the other 27 EU leaders in December.

The Europeans would prefer that Britain don’t take part in the May 23-26 EU elections if it is going to leave. April 12 is the last day for Britain to signal whether it will field candidates.

‘Frustrating’

The UK prime minister says it is “frustrating” that Britain hasn’t yet resolved the situation. Her withdrawal plan, agreed with the EU over more than two years of delicate negotiations, has been rejected by Parliament three times, leading to the current political and legal impasse.

She is now seeking a compromise in a series of talks with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his deputies with hopes of winning opposition backing for a new divorce plans.

If that doesn’t work, May plans a series of votes in Parliament to see if a majority-backed plan can emerge.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP, REUTERS)