British Prime Minister Theresa May with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron in Berlin and Paris respectively on Tuesday.
British Prime Minister Theresa May with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron in Berlin and Paris respectively on Tuesday.

As May makes her whirlwind Europe trip, Tusk proposes 'long' Brexit delay

ANI | Updated: Apr 10, 2019 01:24 IST

Paris/Berlin/Brussels [France/Germany/Belgium], Apr 10 (ANI): With just two days left for the Brexit deadline, British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday (local time) met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin and Paris, respectively, in a bid to secure an extension for the country's withdrawal from the European Union.
May has made a request for a second extension of Brexit deadline from April 12 to June 30, which is set to be discussed by the EU leaders at a special summit in Brussels on April 10 (Wednesday).
Making her first stop in Berlin, May was received by Merkel at the Chancellery, where the two leaders held a working lunch and held deliberations on the proposed Brexit extension as well as preventing efforts to not allow the UK to leave the 28-member EU bloc without any deal.
May "outlined the steps the government is taking to bring the Brexit process to a successful conclusion," CNN quoted a Downing Street spokesperson as saying.
May also apprised Merkel on her ongoing talks with the opposition Labour Party on her beleaguered Brexit deal and the second Brexit deadline.
"The leaders agreed on the importance of ensuring Britain’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union," the spokesperson said.
After May concluded her talks with Merkel, she flew to Paris, where she met Macron, who is one of the EU leaders to support a delay to the Brexit process, but with conditions.
Prior to the May-Macron meeting, a spokesperson for the French President told CNN that a one-year Brexit extension was "too long".
The spokesperson underlined that the Withdrawal Agreement finalised between May and the EU cannot be renegotiated and the UK should accept "strict conditions" if it was granted a delay to the Brexit process to June 30.
During the meeting, May and Macron "discussed the UK’s request for an extension of Article 50 to June 30, with the option to bring this forward if a deal is ratified earlier," a spokesperson for the British Prime Minister said.
The spokesperson added that May "updated President Macron on the ongoing talks with the Opposition to agree a way forward that respects the result of the 2016 referendum."
“They also discussed upcoming European Parliamentary elections with the PM saying that the government was working very hard to avoid the need for the UK to take part,” the spokesperson further said.
In the midst of the meetings in Berlin and Paris, EU Council President Donald Tusk said that the bloc leader should consider a "long" but a "flexible" delay to Brexit.
In a letter to the EU leaders ahead of the crucial Wednesday's summit in Brussels, Tusk wrote, "I trust that we will continue to do our utmost" to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Our experience so far, as well as the deep divisions within the House of Commons, give us little reason to believe that the ratification process can be completed by the end of June."
"In reality, granting such an extension would increase the risk of a rolling series of short extensions and emergency summits, creating new cliff-edge dates," he added.
No resolution seems to be in sight for the UK as the British Parliament had earlier rejected a "no-deal Brexit" scenario, besides rejecting May's Brexit deal thrice. Parliamentarians have also rejected four alternative proposals for the UK's exit from the EU.
Unless the EU is in favour of the delay, the UK is due to leave the EU without a deal on April 12. Several business tycoons and economists have warned of chaos in the case of no-deal Brexit.
In 2016, nearly 52 per cent of the electorate had voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU. (ANI)

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