Theresa May to meet Merkel and Macron in push for Brexit extension

French President Emmanuel Macron is leading the charge to impose tough political conditions on the UK as the price for any Brexit delay
Theresa May to meet Merkel and Macron in push for Brexit extension

10 April, 2019

The ministers discussed the bloc's conditions for any long delay, which include Britain holding European Parliament elections in May and committing to "sincere cooperation", or not undermining the EU's important reforms and institutions should it stay a member for longer.

The Prime Minister met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this afternoon for a working lunch.

He said the United Kingdom should be treated "with the highest respect" and "neither side should be allowed to feel humiliated".

Because if the whole of her strategy is cross-party talks, then European Union leaders will legitimately query why anything more than a short number of months of delay is necessary.

The majority of May's Conservative Party voted alongside the opposition Labour Party to back the prime minister's approach by 420 votes to 110.

Several EU diplomats said that the 12-month extension proposed by European Council President Donald Tusk, who will chair the Wednesday summit, was unlikely to fly and several capitals have agreed with France that that would be too long.

EU Farm Commissioner Hogan was setting out contingency plans in the agriculture sector for a no-deal Brexit to make sure that it impacts farmers as little as possible.

On the eve of an European Union summit of national leaders due to decide whether to grant Britain another Brexit delay, Barnier stressed that the length of any second postponement beyond the current date of April 12 would depend on the rationale presented by Prime Minister Theresa May.

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United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May arrived on Tuesday in Berlin for Brexit talks, but things turned nasty after she turned up and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was nowhere to be found.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, also said the length of any delay will depend on the rationale May presents in Brussels on Wednesday.

The new law that requires the prime minister to extend the Brexit process to avoid no-deal.

The Labour leader said there were "many concerns" his party had over the political declaration - a plan for the future relationship with the European Union - which it planned to put to the government in their discussions.

He added a year-long extension would allow the United Kingdom time to "rethink its Brexit strategy" if a prolonged stalemate was to continue.

He said: "The exchanges with the Government have been serious, but our shadow cabinet expressed frustration that the Prime Minister has not yet moved off her red lines so we can reach a compromise".

Mr Tusk has recommended a one-year extension to the Brexit process, with a break clause allowing an earlier departure if a withdrawal deal is ratified in Westminster.

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