British PM asks European Union to postpone Brexit date until June 30

British PM asks European Union to postpone Brexit date until June 30

British PM asks European Union to postpone Brexit date until June 30

A copy of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, April 5, 2019.

Officials say Tusk, the European Council head, is urging member states to offer a 1-year flexible extension to the UK. May acknowledged that were the United Kingdom still fail to ratify the agreement and be prepared to leave the EU by May 23, it would be under a "legal obligation" to hold the European parliamentary elections between May 23 and 26.

Britain was originally due to leave the bloc by March 29, but May got approval from the European Union for a short extension to give her government more time to find a solution parliament could support.

Political analysts in London said May probably knew that her new deadline will be rejected because European Union leaders do not think she can get her deal through parliament any time soon.

After weeks of Brexit deadlock, with Theresa May's withdrawal agreement failing to win a majority in the House of Commons twice and once more without its political declaration, with not one single motion managing to muster a majority in a series of indicative votes, the government and opposition engaged in talks to try to end this stalemate.

May's letter noted that Britain would start preparing for European Parliament elections in case it is still a member of the bloc when they begin on May 23.

The option could be presented to May at a EU summit on Brexit on April 10 in Brussels and if accepted, Britain would have to hold elections to the European Parliament in May, the official said.

"We've had two rounds of talks and so far, the government isn't proposing any changes to the deal".

Mrs May faces anger from Conservative Brexiteers over the prospect of the UK's departure being delayed, with one minister saying that if Britons were required to elect MEPs on May 23 it would be like writing a "suicide note" for the Tory party.

Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said his party wanted the talks to go on, and a spokesman for May's office said the government had "made serious proposals" in the talks and wanted them to continue over the weekend "in order to deliver a deal that is acceptable to both sides".

Labour has accused Mrs May of refusing to consider changes to the Political Declaration, the document setting out a framework for the UK's future relationship with the EU.

The letter acknowledged that the United Kingdom would have a legal obligation to hold European parliamentary elections.

The Prime Minister's efforts to stave off a lengthy extension to the Brexit process by securing Labour support for a deal have also foundered, with Jeremy Corbyn accusing the Government of failing to offer any "great change" to Mrs May's red lines.

The UK's Conservatives and Labour Party are set to continue Brexit talks later.

French President Emmanuel Macron has thus far seemed cagey about giving Britain more time, saying the bloc can not be held hostage by Britain's political deadlock over Brexit. While an unsuccessful party no-confidence motion in her past year means she can not be challenged again in this way, some have suggested that if there were an extension, they would try to be as "difficult as possible".

MPs have rejected her agreement finalised with European leaders last November three times, delaying Britain's original March 29 exit date and throwing the process into chaos.

"If the parties are able to ratify (the withdrawal agreement by) this date, the government proposes that the period should be terminated earlier", May wrote in a letter released by Downing Street.

Any extension would require unanimous approval from the other European Union countries, all tired of Britain's Brexit indecision, and could come with conditions. "Of course, we have to be prepared to discuss them... in a constructive fashion".

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