Brexit: UK asks European Union for further extension until June 30

06 Avril, 2019, 13:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Talks between the British government and the main opposition Labour party aimed at breaking the deadlock over Brexit continue, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Saturday, adding he expected to reach "some form of agreement".

"We are ready to hold further detailed discussions this weekend in order to seek any such changes in the run-up to European Council on Wednesday".

Negotiations between the two sides began on Wednesday, after May gave a dramatic statement saying she now hoped to find a cross-party deal that could win a parliamentary majority, instead of relying on Tory and DUP votes alone.

The complex manoeuvring on dates comes as Britain's Parliament considers legislation created to prevent such a "no-deal" departure.

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 support for a new divorce deal.

"There are important decisions to be taken after European Union elections", said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to comment on closed-door meetings preparing for next week's summit.

But after an exchange of letters between the two sides on Friday morning, the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, said the government was refusing to countenance changes to the political declaration, which sets out Britain's future relationship with the EU.

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The Green Party's only MP at Westminster, Caroline Lucas, commented: "The prime minister is at odds with reality". We're now at the mercy of their decision. Far from taking back control, we are now completely at the mercy of the EU27.

He tweeted that "if a long extension leaves us stuck in the European Union, we should be as hard as possible". In the 2016 referendum, the people of the Newport West constituency voted Leave by a 56-44 margin. "Those are things we are absolutely insisting on".

The UK is due to leave the European Union on 12 April and, as yet, no withdrawal deal has been approved by the House of Commons.

Media reports in London said Tusk was likely to suggest what has been described as a 12-month "flextension" to Britain.

May had previously dismissed the idea because it bars Britain from striking its own trade deals with global giants such as China and the United States.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas echoed Rutte's concerns and said May must clarify her plan before the upcoming EU summit so European leaders could "form an opinion on an extension" and "under what circumstances" any postponement could take place.

On 21 March, EU leaders agreed to let Britain go past the Article 50 original departure date of 29 March. All 27 nations have to agree unanimously on an extension.

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