- Theresa May requests a two and a half month delay to Brexit.
- Under May’s plan, Britain would not leave until June 30, 2019.
- However, the EU has already previously rejected this date.
- European Council President Donald Tusk reportedly backs a much longer 12-month "flextension" that would end once the United Kingdom seals a deal.
- Senior members of Theresa May’s Cabinet are prepared to quit if a long extension is agreed.
LONDON — Theresa May has written to the European Council President Donald Tusk requesting that Brexit be delayed until June 30 2019.
The UK is currently due to leave the EU on April 12, which is the final date before Britain would be obliged to take part in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
However, the prime minister told Tusk that she is "reluctantly" asking for a longer flexible extension that could potentially end earlier if she is able to ratify a deal in the UK parliament in the coming weeks.
"It is frustrating that we have not yet brought this process to a successful and orderly conclusion," May told Tusk.
"If the parties are able to ratify before [June 30], the government proposes that the period should be terminated early."
May’s request is identical to the terms of her original request that Brexit should be delayed beyond its original deadline of March 29.
This request was rejected by the EU at the time and senior EU figures are now reportedly planning to offer a much longer delay to May.
European Council President Donald Tusk is ready to offer the UK a 12-month "flexible" extension that could end earlier once UK MPs agrees a withdrawal deal, senior sources have told the BBC.
The EU’s proposed delay means that Britain would not be due to leave the EU until March 31 2020, Sky News report.
The offer has been labeled as a "flextension" in an apparent attempt to help the prime minister, who has previously refused to countenance the idea of a long extension, to sell the plan.
However, the Article 50 process, through which the UK is due to leave the EU, already allows a member state to withdraw from the bloc early once an agreement is reached.
Any extension would need to be agreed unanimously by EU member states and approved by the UK parliament, under the terms of a backbench bill currently working its way through the Houses of Parliament.
Some member states, including France, are sceptical about a long extension.
Senior members of May’s Cabinet are also reportedly poised to quit if she accepts a long extension that takes the UK beyond the upcoming European Parliament elections next month.
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