EU Agrees to Delay Brexit Until Oct. 31, Review in June

EU Agrees to Delay Brexit Until Oct. 31, Review in June

The British leader is then briefed on the EU's decision by summit chairman Donald Tusk.

Sterling against the U.S. dollar (GBPUSD=X) - a defacto barometer on how Brexit talks are progressing - remained flat in early morning trading on Wednesday.

May said Britain faces "stark" choices "and the timetable is clear".

May's request. At first, most leaders seemed prepared to agree on a delay of up to a year, partly in the hope that Britain might hold another referendum on Brexit.

Many leaders had wanted a much longer extension, to the end of the year or even next March, but French President Emmanuel Macron mounted stiff resistance throughout the evening, eventually forcing the compromise.

But British lawmakers have rejected her divorce deal three times, and attempts to forge a compromise with her political opponents have yet to bear fruit.

The Prime Minister met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin this afternoon for a working lunch.

"This extension has got to serve a goal", Barnier said after a meeting of European Union affairs ministers in Luxembourg, adding that the European Union is ready to give more time if cross-party talks in the United Kingdom can deliver a majority for the deal.

An official in the French President's office said the British leader had not offered "sufficient guarantees" to justify a long extension.

The aide said: "Not everything is preferable to a no-deal". "But we will organise this extension such that when Britain has passed the Withdrawal Agreement, Britain can very quickly thereafter execute the exit in an orderly fashion", Merkel said. If that happened in the next few weeks, Britain wouldn't have to participate in elections to the European Parliament, which begin on May 23.

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The French President was adamant that Britain should be ejected from the European Union in less than a month's time, deal or no deal.

France's President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the press as he arrives ahead of a European Council meeting on Brexit at The Europa Building at The European Parliament in Brussels on April 10, 2019.

The British Parliament has repeatedly rejected a withdrawal deal negotiated with the European Union, leading to today's deadlock over Britain's long-awaited departure.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Tory backbencher Craig Tracey said she should abandon her "diluted deal" and take Britain out on World Trade Organisation terms, while Henry Smith warned that an extension would cost the United Kingdom £1 billion a month.

Economists and business leaders warn that a no-deal Brexit would lead to huge disruptions in trade and travel, with tariffs and customs checks causing gridlock at British ports and possible shortages of goods.

Many Tories are furious at the prospect of participating in European elections given that the country voted to leave the EU almost three years ago.

"I will now meet PM Theresa May for the United Kingdom government's agreement".

"The whole thing is an utter auto crash and I think what has to be established now is I think the Cabinet has to have a moment with the Prime Minister and say this can't go on, I'm afraid, it really can't go on". "What's still open is how long that extension will be and what the conditions will be".

Most EU leaders have indicated they could accept such an extension as long as Britain pledges not use it to play an obstructionist course and undermine EU policies.

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