Theresa May vows to resign if MPs back her Brexit plan
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British Prime Minister Theresa May has promised Tory MPs that she will stand down if they back her Brexit plan.
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EU slaps down Theresa May’s request to extend Brexit until June 30

Submitted by on 20 Mar 2019 – 15:46

The EU leaders have been quick in their response to UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent request to extend Brexit until June 30. As the elections to the European Parliament are due to take place in just a couple of months, the European Commission has said the delay should either be several weeks shorter or extend until end of the year, to avoid clashes.

Responding to May’s extension request, European Council President Donald Tusk has said that “granting it would be conditional on ratification of the Brexit deal by MPs.” In a press statement, he said May’s proposal, of 30 June, which has its merits, creates a series of questions of a legal and political nature. He noted that he believes “a short extension will be possible, but it will be conditional on a positive vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons.”

Tusk has said the “question remains open” as to how long a delay the other EU leaders would support.

Earlier last week, European Council President Donald Tusk confirmed his openness to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its strategy to exit the European Union.

In a letter to Tusk on March 11, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, reportedly said that if the UK is still part of the EU at the end of May “it will be legally required to hold these elections, in line with the rights and obligations of all Member States as set out in the Treaties”.

According to the UK’s Department of Exiting the European Union, the United Kingdom would have to participate in the elections, as the “EU treaties provide that EU citizens have the right to be represented” and that the “European Parliament should be properly constituted …with duly elected representatives from all member states.”

Theresa May is currently at Brussels, making a direct plea to the 27 EU leaders to postpone Brexit for three months, hours after telling the British public that her application for an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period was “a matter of great personal regret” but is necessary to deliver Brexit.

Addressing the German Parliament, Angela Merkel is known to have said the EU could meet May’s request if there was a “positive vote” on the withdrawal agreement in the UK Parliament.

The 2019 elections are due to take place between 23 and 26 May. The new Parliament will neither sit, nor the new members be sworn in, until 2 July.