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EU to agree Brexit delay but France pushes for conditions

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 9, 2019 - Duration: 01:24s

EU to agree Brexit delay but France pushes for conditions

European Union leaders will grant Prime Minister Theresa May a second delay to Brexit but France pushed for conditions to limit Britain's ability to undermine the bloc.

Anna Bevan reports.

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EU to agree Brexit delay but France pushes for conditions

The European Union will grant Britain another delay to Brexit, that's according to a draft statement by the bloc's national leaders.

May had dashed to Berlin and Paris Tuesday (April 9) to ask Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to allow Britain to put off its divorce.

But the draft statement left the end-date blank, pending a decision by the other 27 national leaders at an EU emergency summit on Wednesday.

The UK was originally supposed to leave the EU at the end of last month.

But was granted an extension until this Friday.

Arguably Britain's weakest leader in a generation, May had feared crashing out of the bloc without a deal at the end of the week.

Although she has also said that she fears, at this rate, Britain might never leave.

European Council President Donald Tusk had proposed a 12-month extension, But several EU diplomats said that wouldn't fly.

On Tuesday Macron's office said one year seemed too long.

And added that, if Britain did delay its exit, it should not be allowed to take part in EU budget talks or in choosing the next president of the EU executive.

The extended negotiation period could allow May to reach a compromise with the opposition Labour Party, back home.

And get her agreement with Brussels approved by Britain's parliament.

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