German foreign minister open to one last push for orderly Brexit

Clay Curtis
March 21, 2019

The pound fell against the dollar and the euro on Wednesday as UK Prime Minister Theresa May signalled she will only ask the European Union for a short extension to the Brexit timetable.

If it is approved, she plans to use the extension until June 30 in order for Parliament to pass the necessary legislation for Britain's departure. May will attend a European Council summit in Brussels this week to discuss the plan for a Brexit extension.

If she can not win over enough reluctant lawmakers next week, Britain faces the choice of requesting a longer delay or leaving the European Union as planned on March 29 - without a deal to cushion the economic upheaval.

A longer delay would also provide "endless hours and days of this House carrying on, contemplating its navel on Europe", May charged, underscoring her contention that Parliament, not her government, is responsible for the chaos. The eldest son of US President Donald Trump in a column for the Daily Telegraph criticised Prime Minister Theresa May and her handling of Brexit.

'You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with.

Tusk made clear what other EU leaders have long hinted: The EU is unwilling to give Britain more time unless the government can find a way out of the Brexit impasse.

"You, the public, have had enough", she said.

"If the Prime Minister can not get changes to her deal, will she give the people a chance to reject the deal and change the government?"

"We have reacted with patience and goodwill to numerous turns of events and I am confident that also now we will not lack the same patience and goodwill at this most critical point in this process". Months of running down the clock and a concerted campaign of blackmail, bullying and bribery has failed to convince the House or the country that her deal is anything but a damaging national failure and should be rejected.

Leaked EU documents, according to a report from Reuters, indicated the bloc is unwilling to extend the deadline beyond 23 May unless the United Kingdom accepts a much longer delay.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May says she is not prepared to delay Brexit further than June 30.

Speculation has also grown that May may also use a threat to resign - nearly certainly triggering a general election - tobring recalcitrant Conservative MPs into line in a third vote on her withdrawal deal.

The Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom is understood to have told the meeting: "This used to be the Cabinet that would deliver Brexit and now from what I'm hearing it's not".

The EU would be likely to respond by then offering a more lengthy Article 50 extension that would accommodate a referendum - with some polls now appearing to suggest that a small majority could vote to halt Brexit entirely.

I have writen to Tusk to request an extension to 30th June.

Chuka Umunna, the Independent Group spokesman, said it was "extraordinary behaviour in a national crisis" by the Labour leader.

The increasing tension came as a new YouGov opinion poll conducted on March 19 found that 52 per cent of people want a Brextension, while 35 per cent say Britain should leave next with no deal.

Britain believes it would not have to participate if it got a three-month delay, because the newly elected European parliament is not due to convene until July.

Juncker said Parliament needed to decide whether it would approve the deal that is on the table.

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