Merkel warns European Union is likely to agree to lengthy Brexit delay

Credit Sunrise  Channel 7

Credit Sunrise Channel 7

EU Council President Donald Tusk has recommended a long extension, saying on the eve of the summit that the United Kingdom should not be "humiliated", but the French government continues to fight for tough conditions.

Merkel told Germany's parliament ahead of a special European Union summit in Brussels dedicated to Brexit that leaders may well agree to a delay "longer than the British prime minister (Theresa May) has requested".

If EU leaders reject the Brexit delay proposal or don't go with Tusk's proposition for a long Brexit delay, Britain will leave the bloc without a deal at 11pm local time on Friday, 12 April.

Merkel also attempted to quell any talk of taking a divergent position to French President Emmanuel Macron when it comes to the issue of time length of any Brexit delay. Under Article 50, it would end as soon as a Brexit deal was concluded.

European Union leaders are expected to offer the prime minister an extension until December or even March next year.

Michael Brown said he has become so fed up with the Tories, he has now joined Nigel Farage's Brexit Party in anticipation of the United Kingdom taking part in the European elections. "We have been talking to the opposition, and those have been serious, constructive talks".

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The BBC's Brussels correspondent Adam Fleming said the document referred to an extension lasting "only as long as is necessary and, in any event, no longer than XX.XX.XXXX and ending earlier if the withdrawal agreement is ratified".

Downing Street said Mrs May had discussed the UK's request for an extension of Article 50 - the process by which the United Kingdom leaves the European Union - until 30 June, with the option to make it shorter if a deal is ratified earlier, with both Ms Merkel and Mr Macron. The Prime Minister doesn't want to see a long extension. The Government has agreed a deal with the EU.

MPs backed her call in a Commons vote yesterday afternoon as they approved a Government motion for Mrs May to seek an extension to June 30 by 420 votes to 110, a majority of 310. Mr Macron appeared to wink today as he arrived in the Belgian capital after he had been urged not to "humiliate" the Prime Minister.

Mr Tusk wrote: "The UK would be free to leave whenever it is ready".

"In reality, granting such an extension would increase the risk of a rolling series of short extensions and emergency summits, creating new cliff-edge dates".

The Prime Minister's agreement is required for any change to the Brexit date to be finalised.

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