Theresa May To Ask For An Extension On Article 50
U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May, will ask for a short extension on article 50 during her travels to Paris and Berlin, according to The Guardian. May intends to meet with French President, Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, before an emergency European Union (EU) summit on April 10 where she will be asking for an extension lasting no more than a few months.
The Prime Minister will argue that talks with the Labour party will lead to a breakthrough and an eventual negotiation for when the country leaves the EU. However, her request for an extension has previously been rejected, though EU leaders may be open to giving a longer extension of about a year.
“This is obviously a unique European council specifically focused on Brexit. The PM set out a clear ask in terms of an extension and it is important that she set out the rationale for that,” an official spokeswoman for May has said.
According to The Mirror the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has shown support for May, insisting that she is doing everything she can to tackle Brexit and is leaving “no stone unturned.”
May has also written to EU Commission President, Donald Tusk, requesting a delay until June 30, and will also be talking to other EU leaders by phone.
However, many are showing concerns about delaying Brexit even further, with some questioning whether it could lead to a second referendum. International development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, has said that any more delays would be an affront to businesses and the general public.
“For me, the critical thing is that we leave, we do it swiftly, we don’t get locked into fighting European elections.”
While Merkel has been sympathetic to the Brexit crisis in the U.K., Macron has warned that Britain may be heading for a no deal exit, although is said to have expressed a desire to compromise on any issues.
Article 50 is a treaty signed by the U.K. which sets out how the EU works. The article itself states that any European country that wishes to leave must send out a government letter to the European Council which will trigger negotiations that will last two years. The aim of article 50 is to ensure both sides agree to the exit strategy of the country leaving.
Amidst Brexit talks, May has received praise and criticism, many of which come from pro-Brexit politicians and those who are concerned about her liaising with Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
If May cannot get an extension approved, the U.K. could be in danger of leaving the EU without a deal this Friday.