Yvette Cooper's Brexit extension bill is given assent

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He suggested that the European Union would grant an extension rather than allowing Britain to leave without a deal on Friday, saying that, given the "risks posed" for those on both sides of the English Channel, "I trust that we will continue to do our utmost to avoid this scenario".

Justice Secretary David Gauke said the talks were taking place in a "constructive manner" but it was too early to say whether they would reach an agreement.

"The European Council takes note of the commitment by the United Kingdom to act in a constructive and responsible manner throughout this unique period in accordance with the duty of honest co-operation and expects the United Kingdom to fulfil this Treaty obligation in a manner that reflects its situation as a withdrawing Member State".

London Mayor Sadiq Khan poked fun at Theresa May on a visit to a children's hospital, remarking that a somewhat jaded and fed up looking child reminded him of the beleaguered UK PM, adding: "That's how she feels".

May is to make a whistle-stop trip to Berlin and Paris for last-minute talks with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron on the eve of the emergency summit.

As everyone already knows, the EU's president Donald Tusk is making the case for a long "flexible" Brexit postponement of no more than a year - but with the United Kingdom able to leave earlier if all legal and political conditions for Brexit are met earlier.

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The pound, which has seesawed so much on Brexit news that some investors have stepped away from the sterling market, rose and then dipped on speculation Merkel could offer May a better deal.

Yet nothing is yet resolved.

Labour's demands include keeping Britain in a customs union with the EU, something that is hard to reconcile with May's desire for Britain to have an independent trade policy, and potentially a second referendum on any deal.

Talks with Labour on a Brexit deal had more success on Tuesday, with an acknowledgement from the government that it was open to seeking changes to the political declaration, firmer guarantees on abiding by future EU regulations on workers' rights and potentially changing some of the language around a customs union.

"We had further detailed and wide-ranging talks with cabinet ministers and officials today", a Labour spokesperson said. "We have yet to see the clear shift in the government's position that is needed to secure a compromise agreement". Talks resume on Thursday. May has tried to pass her deal four times - each being rejected by a large majority, meaning both those within and outside her Conservative party don't like the deal. But EU government heads with whom power actually resides, and notably President Macron of France, legitimately fear that in practice a delay of a year would simply mean Brexit uncertainty squeezing out all other EU work till long after we're all dead.

As the house had voted to extend Article 50 multiple times, the result was ultimately unsurprising.

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