Juncker: Short extension only if United Kingdom approves Brexit deal before 10 April

Simon Coveney said British Prime Minister faces difficult options

Simon Coveney said British Prime Minister faces difficult options

Britain's Prime Minister and opposition leader are now holding talks to find a way out of the current Brexit impasse.

But there was no agreement on the option of a second referendum.

May tore up her steadfast strategy and sought Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's support in a surprise last-minute gesture that could determine the fate of the country and her government. But Juncker warned 12 April is "the ultimate date" for the deal to be approved.

The EU plans to hold an extraordinary summit on April 10 to hear from May on her idea to resolve the issue.

She crucially added that she was now willing to bend her previous principles and listen to proposals for much closer post-Brexit trade relations with the bloc than most in her Conservative party were ready to accept. Rebuilding trust between both sides of the channel to go back to the negotiating table will depend on these three preconditions.

"We have agreed a programme of work between our teams to explore the scope for agreement".

Following the meeting in the PM's Commons office, a Labour spokesman said: "We have had constructive exploratory discussions about how to break the Brexit deadlock". We have always known that the logic of article 50 makes a no deal the default outcome.

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The Brexit withdrawal agreement only talks about "best endeavours" being used to reach an agreement during the transition period.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's request for a short Brexit delay on Wednesday.

Yesterday, May asked opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to help develop a Brexit plan that could be ratified by the House of Commons, and asked Brussels for more time.

Varadkar has described Merkel as "a strong and unwavering ally of Ireland", and said he looks forward to continuing to maintain a strong relationship with the European Union member in light of Brexit pressure.

And she said it was in everyone's interests for the deal to be "delivered in an orderly way and to get it done now" rather than "to run the risk of an accidental "no deal" with all the disruption that would bring or to allow this to drag on any further". "Yet I believe that a "no deal" at midnight on 12 April is now a very likely scenario", said Juncker.

"Our UK friends need to say what they want, instead of asking us to say what we want and so we would like within a few weeks our UK friends to set out their expectations for us, because this debate is sometimes nebulous and imprecise and I would like clarifications", he said.

In the event of a long extension the "UK must organise European Parliament elections and say so on 10 April", said the EU official and further added, "we will freeze negotiations until the end of year until the United Kingdom agrees on the withdrawal agreement with an amended political declaration, possibly after a general election or a referendum".

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