EU Leaders To Discuss Article 50 Extension At Special Summit

10 April 2019, 09:55

The Prime Minister met with several European leaders on Tuesday
May meets Macron in Paris. Picture: PA

The Prime Minister has held last minute talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of Wednesday’s Brexit summit.

With the UK due to leave the EU on Friday, Theresa May met with the leaders of Germany and France to update them on the ongoing talks with the Opposition and discuss her request to extend the Brexit process.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Following the Prime Minister’s letter to Donald Tusk last week, the leaders discussed the UK’s request for an extension of Article 50 to June 30th, with the option to bring this forward if a deal is ratified earlier.”

EU leaders will meet in Brussels on Wednesday afternoon for an emergency European Council summit where Theresa May will tell them why she wants to delay Brexit until 30 June.

Writing to the EU leaders ahead of the summit, European Council President Donald Tusk wrote that experience so far, as well as the “deep divisions within the House of Commons” give the EU little reason to believe that the ratification process can be completed by the end of June.

“This is why I believe we should also discuss an alternative, longer extension. One possibility would be a flexible extension, which would last only as long as necessary and no longer than one year,” Tusk wrote.

The UK would be able to leave as soon as both sides have agreed a Withdrawal Agreement.

Cross-party talks between the government and Labour have ben described by Downing Street as " productive and wide-ranging," while Labour said: We have yet to see the clear shift in the Government’s position that is needed to secure a compromise agreement.”

Wednesday’s summing comes after MPs voted by 420-110 to approve a motion to seek an Article 50 extension and delay the date of Brexit to 30 June.