May will point to Labour talks to unlock Brexit delay - spokesman

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that Britain risks a serious shock if it leaves the European Union without an agreement.

The two leaders sat down for a working lunch, during which May "outlined the steps the government is taking to bring the Brexit process to a successful conclusion", according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

UK Government discussions with opposition Labour, so far fruitless, are also set to continue.

The UK wants the approval of all 27 European Union leaders to postpone Britain's departure until June 30, and for the UK to be able to leave sooner if parliament manages to ratify an divorce deal.

May travelled to Paris on Tuesday in an attempt to secure the support of French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been firm on May's need to deliver a clear plan for delivering Brexit.

"The length of the extension must be linked to the objective - what it's for - and that depends on what Mrs May will say to European leaders tomorrow", he told reporters after a meeting of EU ministers in Luxembourg.

Mrs May is asking for an extension only until the end of June, but with the British.

Seibert would not further comment on the German government's position regarding May's Friday proposal to delay Brexit until June 30 to avoid crashing out without a deal at the end of this week.

He added a year-long extension would allow the United Kingdom time to "rethink its Brexit strategy" if a prolonged stalemate was to continue.

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European Union leaders, worn out by the three-year Brexit crisis, have repeatedly refused to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement May agreed in November, though on Tuesday there was speculation in London that Merkel might be open to doing just that.

The Cooper/Letwin bill reduced the risk of a no deal Brexit substantially, and took power out of May's hands.

Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk suggested on Tuesday to the members of the European Council to discuss the possibility to put in place a new Brexit extension that will last up to one year.

Additional pressure on the prospect of a further Brexit delay is that European parliamentary elections are due to be held late next month.

Irish leader Leo Varadkar told RTE at the weekend any member state that vetoed a delay "wouldn't be forgiven", citing the damage a no-deal exit could cause to his country.

EU leaders will meet tomorrow to discuss Brexit issues, but with the EU elections closing in and European-wide discussions around the reform of the EU there seems to be little appetite in Europe to debate Brexit again.

Lord Hague wrote: "It is hard in any case to see how carrying through the programme of Brexit procedures and laws could be sustained by an agreement between part of the Conservative Party and the bulk of the Labour Party - the Government would be highly likely to collapse under such a strain".

MPs will be allowed to vote on this and make their own suggestions as to the length of the delay.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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