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European leaders want ‘credible’ Brexit plan before they give May an Article 50 extension

THERESA MAY has been urged yet again to come up with a “credible” Brexit plan before the EU decides whether to approve an extension to Article 50 at an emergency summit tomorrow.

The Prime Minister dashed from meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin today to see French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to urge them to back her in delaying Brexit until the end of June.

With just over two days until a possible no-deal Brexit at 11pm on Friday, the desperate PM is hoping that the EU gives her more time.

All 27 EU states need to agree the delay.

Ms Merkel — referred to by the British media as the “good cop” — indicated she would be open to a delay. Mr Macron, the EU leader thought most resistant to a delay, said an extension would be dependent on strict terms regarding holding European Parliament elections.

He also suggested checks every three months “to ensure the UK is not disrupting EU business” if a delay of up to 12 months is granted.

At a Luxembourg meeting today almost all the leaders of the 27 remaining EU member states were prepared not rule out an extension beyond June as long as Britain showed it had a “credible political plan.”

European Council president Donald Tusk recommended that Brexit be pushed as far back as March 2020, with a clause allowing the time to be shortened if a withdrawal plan is approved by British MPs.

Cross-party talks between the government and Labour are ongoing. Germany’s deputy foreign minister Michael Roth said that, despite the cross-party dialogue, “so far absolutely nothing has changed” and “we are in a very, very frustrating situation here.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who is involved in the talks, said Labour would press for assurances that any agreement could not be torn up by a future prime minister.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis slammed Ms May’s shambolic handling of Brexit and her “flying circus” of “clowns and somersaulting politicians” at the union’s annual health conference today.

He said: “It’s absolute mayhem, from indicative votes to meaningful votes, from barneys with Barnier to rucks with Tusk.

“The Prime Minister’s circus would be comical if it weren’t so serious. This last year has witnessed the demise of our politics and the rise in division, anger and distrust.”


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