Theresa May Asks EU To Delay Brexit Until June


She said: "This delay is a matter of deep personal regret for me and of this I am absolutely sure you the public have had enough".

British Prime Minister Theresa May has asked the European Union to delay Britain's departure for three months, after a chaotic day that saw Ms.

"It is high time we made a decision", May said.

Senior EU diplomats who had been kept in the loop about discussions between London and Brussels in recent days had been told that Mrs May would probably ask for a "hybrid" extension that would keep Britain in the bloc for a short period if the deal is passed next week, and a long one if not, officials said.

And she sparked speculation that she may step down if either MPs or Europe demand a longer extension to the Article 50 negotiation process, declaring: "As Prime Minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than June 30".

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In a very short speech repeating how unwilling Theresa May is to change her course despite having lost the backing of MPs, the British public in polls and the patience of European Union leaders, the PM insisted that she would still "work night and day" to persuade MPs to vote for the unpopular Withdrawal Deal she has secured.

The latter option would require Britain to take part in those elections, something May has opposed.

European Council President Donald Tusk said he believed the EU would agree to a short extension, but this would only be if Mrs May's deal is signed off by MPs next week.

But May told Cabinet she wanted MPs to have another vote "as soon as possible".

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Nevertheless, there was said to be concern among some ministers that Brexit appeared to be slipping away.

The Labour Party said that, by choosing a short delay, May was forcing lawmakers to decide between accepting a deal they have already rejected or leaving without a deal. If her deal is rejected, Britain will face the prospect of leaving without an agreement once the extension ends.

If the delay is approved at a Brussels summit on Thursday, Mrs May will rush legislation through both Houses of Parliament next week to remove the March 29 date from Brexit laws.

Almost three years after the referendum, there is still no clarity over how, when or even whether the world's fifth largest economy should leave the bloc it joined in 1973.

It is up to Parliament's speaker to decide whether to press ahead with the move, after which McGovern would make a three-minute speech on the case for such a debate and then parliament would have to agree that the debate should take place.

"We have reacted with patience and goodwill to numerous turns of events and I am confident now we will not lack the patience and goodwill and this most critical point in this process".

Opposition politicians, and pro-EU members of May's Conservative government, had urged a longer extension, saying a delay of just a few months could leave Britain once again facing a cliff-edge "no-deal" Brexit this summer.

Hinds said the process has already gone on for more than two years, "and I think people are a bit exhausted of waiting for Parliament to get our act together and get the deal passed".

"But obviously she has equally been committed to ensure that the United Kingdom leaves with a deal and so I think she has just had to face reality and go for the extension, albeit very reluctantly".

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow ruled out a third vote on May's deal Tuesday; however following Mr Tusk's advise May will near certainly endeavour to find a workaround to the Remain-supporting Speaker's ruling with a possible vote to come next week.