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EU's Tusk proposes 12-month 'flexible' extension to UK's Brexit date

EU's Tusk proposes 12-month 'flexible' extension to UK's Brexit date

The EU is wary of granting another extension - especially a short one - if there's no prospect that the House of Commons approves the existing exit treaty, struck last November, or tables an acceptable alternative.

Some possible scenarios for what might happen next in the coming days.

In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk on Friday, May asked for an extension until the end of June and reiterated her previous position that she is opposed to the United Kingdom voting in EU elections at the end of May. A letter from May to Tusk proposes an extension to June 30.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is the MP for North East Somerset and a prominent campaigner for Britain to exit the European Union at the earliest possible opportunity, even if it means leaving with no deal, which many economists say would cause a financial crisis at least in the short term. But such a move would definitely trigger blackslashes from pro-Brexit Conservatives. But most oppose leaving without a deal. "It is essential we deliver what people voted for, and to do that we need to get a deal over the line", May underlined.

What is happening with Brexit?

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.

May and Corbyn are set to meet again.

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Her decision to open talks with Labour infuriated Brexit supporters in May's Conservative party and divided her cabinet.

A second possibility revolves around May's promise to hold a series of "indicative votes" in Parliament if her talks with Corbyn are unsuccessful.

While both major parties have said they are committed to carrying out the results of Britain's 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU, Labour has long demanded a softer break than May has been willing to consider. However, Ms. May has repeatedly ruled out remaining in the customs union because it would mean the United Kingdom would be unable to pursue its own trade policy since members of the customs union must apply the same external tariffs. The agreement is needed to Tusk's plan at a summit next week.

A "flextension" is not exactly what May is seeking; she wants a shorter delay.

The EU dismissed Rees-Mogg's comments about what Britain should do if it remains a member over the coming months, seen by his critics as an attempt to goad the EU into rejecting the extension and therefore making a no-deal Brexit likelier. "But it is an outcome for which I have made sure the European Union is ready".

Mrs May wants to terminate any extension before the European polls if she is able to get a deal through Parliament, something she had been hoping Mr Corbyn's Labour MPs could help with.

May said if ongoing talks with Labour do not lead to a "single unified approach soon" then the government would instead look to establish a "consensus" on options on a future relationship that could be put to the Commons.