Britain has asked European Union leaders to delay Brexit till June 30, Prime Minister Theresa May told parliamentarians on Wednesday, reported BBC. Britain is supposed to exit the bloc on March 29.
“I don’t want a long extension,” May said on eve of an EU summit in Brussels. She said a further delay would mean Britain will have to hold European Parliament elections. “The idea that three years after voting to leave the EU, the people of this country should be asked to elect a new set of MEPs is, I believe, unacceptable,” she said. “As [the] prime minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than June 30.”
In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, May said she intended to bring the Brexit deal back to British Parliament. The bill was rejected twice earlier. “If the motion is passed, I am confident that Parliament will proceed to ratify the deal constructively,” said May. “But this will clearly not be completed before March 29, 2019.”
Any delay in Brexit is subject to the approval of all 27 countries of the European Union. May herself voted to delay Brexit on March 14.
The United Kingdom Parliament had voted against a no-deal Brexit by a narrow margin of 312-308 on March 13. After lawmakers rejected May’s previous Brexit proposal on March 12, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party had called for a general election to allow the public to decide who should lead them into the next phase of Brexit.
The UK and the EU have differed over the terms of an Irish backstop, which is a “safety net” to preserve a border without customs and regulatory checks through a series of measures. British and European Union leaders had earlier committed to avoiding a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit. Pro-Brexit leaders in May’s Conservative Party insist that the backstop would make it impossible for Britain to leave the EU.
On January 15, the UK Parliament had voted to reject May’s deal by 230 votes, the biggest defeat for a government in modern British history.