Tusk suggests Brexit delay of up to year

Tusk suggests Brexit delay of up to year

European leaders were expected to postpone Brexit once again on Wednesday (10 April), when Prime Minister Theresa May attends another last-ditch summit still without a ratified divorce deal.

British Prime Minister Theresa May returned to London on Tuesday night at the end of a day of whistle-stop diplomacy in her race to win a delay to the country's departure from the European Union (EU).

The Prime Minister has been cosying up to Labour as she attempts to rally their support to get some kind of consensus in the Commons.

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.

"Well I don't want to see a delay for up to a year", Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay told BBC radio.

European Council president Donald Tusk is recommending a longer delay of up to a year - with an option of leave earlier if there is an agreement in the Commons.

May arrives in Brussels for a pre-summit meeting with Tusk before explaining her delay request to the leaders who will then discuss their next move.

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The bloc's leaders have tried to help May over two years of negotiations, even after she missed her hand-picked Brexit departure date on March 29 because of a parliamentary revolt.

But Conservative former minister Tim Loughton, also speaking in yesterday's debate, appealed to French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel to turn the request down.

Boris Johnson was surprisingly found to have the best chance of being the next leader of the Conservative Party when Theresa May steps down, followed by Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.

Among conditions France is now setting to agree to a new delay: A "credible prospect" of some kind of solution to the British political deadlock. Importantly, a long extension would provide more certainty and predictability by removing the threat of constantly shifting cliff-edge dates.

May is hoping the extra time, if granted, will enable her to finally get a divorce deal through parliament. Labour favors a softer Brexit than the government has proposed, and wants to retain a close economic relationship with the bloc.

A draft summit conclusion, seen by AFP, was being circulated among European Union diplomats, but the proposed new Brexit date was still blank as talks continued on the eve of the summit.

He said: "Please, put us out of our misery now, as this House and this government appear incapable of doing". Several days of talks between May's Conservative government and the main opposition Labour Party aimed at finding a compromise Brexit deal have failed to produce a breakthrough.

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