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Jakarta Post

May asks EU for Brexit extension until June 30



London, United Kingdom   /   Wed, March 20, 2019   /   07:19 pm
May asks EU for Brexit extension until June 30 In doubt: An anti-Brexit protester walks outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Thursday. (Reuters/Henry Nicholls)

Prime Minister Theresa May has asked the European Union for an extension to the Brexit deadline until June 30, she told lawmakers in the House of Commons, after pro-Brexit ministers objected to being stuck in the bloc for much longer. It increases the chances that the UK could crash out of the bloc at the end of June, and could make for a tense meeting with European leaders on Thursday.

“As prime minister I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June” May told lawmakers in the House of Commons after announcing that she has written to EU Council President Donald Tusk.

Meanwhile, the mood in Brussels is very bleak today, as EU officials don’t know how to read the UK government’s plans. One senior diplomat warned of a looming catastrophe and said the blame game for a no-deal has already started. Everybody should realize that responsibility must lie with May’s lack of clarity and delaying tactics over two years, he said.

Many EU governments are pressing for a crisis summit next Thursday -- that’s the day before the UK’s scheduled leaving day -- if there’s no definitive decision tomorrow, he said.