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March 29 no more! UK's May seeks delay to Brexit

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 20, 2019 - Duration: 01:31s

March 29 no more! UK's May seeks delay to Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May asked for a three-month delay to Brexit on Wednesday to buy time to get her twice-rejected departure deal though parliament, but the request faced immediate resistance from the European Commission.

Lauren Anthony reports.

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March 29 no more! UK's May seeks delay to Brexit

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: "...The UK seeks an extension to the Article 50 period until the 30th of June." A change of tune from British Prime Minister Theresa May - she wants a delay to Brexit after all.

She had long insisted that the UK would leave the European Union on March 29th 2019.

But, in a desperate bid to resolve the stagnated divorce proceedings, May said on Wednesday (March 20) she had written to EU chief Donald Tusk to ask for a three month extension.

According to a document seen by Reuters - the EU are reluctant, insisting the delay must only be either until May 23 - to avoid a clash with European elections that month - or at least until the end of the year, which forces Britain to take part.

May did say delaying Brexit doesn't wipe 'no deal' off the table, but she plans to bring her twice-defeated withdrawl agreement back to lawmakers.

She didn't say when.

Even if May is given more time, hardline Brexiteers are opposed to a longer delay because it could risk a no-Brexit scenario.

Remainers would likely support a postponement for the opposite reason.

It means undoing Brexit is more likely - or that it could encourage a second referendum.

EU leaders will discuss May's delay request at a summit in Brussels later this week.

After months of squabbling, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU had done much to accommodate Britain, and the current deal, which took almost three years to build, is the only one on offer.

May must head to the bloc with a plan if she's to alleviate the impasse.

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