Theresa May asks German Chancellor Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron for Brexit delay
British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday to argue for a Brexit delay while her ministers hold crisis talks with the opposition to try to break the deadlock in London.
Mrs May is meeting Angela Merkel in Berlin, followed by Emmanuel Macron in Paris, to urge them to back her request to delay Brexit again until 30 June. The prime minister will be at an emergency summit on Wednesday when all EU states will vote on an extension.
Cross-party talks aimed at breaking the impasse are also set to continue.
The negotiating teams will be joined by Chancellor Philip Hammond and shadow chancellor John McDonnell, with the Labour frontbencher saying they hoped to “broaden the talks”.
The UK is currently due to leave the EU at 23:00 BST on Friday.
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So far, MPs have rejected the withdrawal agreement Theresa May reached with other European leaders last year.
One of most contentious parts of the plan is the Irish backstop – an insurance policy that aims to prevent a hard border returning to the island of Ireland.
The EU has continually said it will not re-open the withdrawal agreement for negotiations, but Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom renewed her plea for them to look again.
She told reporters the “best possible outcome” would be if the “EU decide to support measures on the backstop”, and that she though it would be “fantastic [if] Angela Merkel will try to support a proper UK Brexit by agreeing to open the withdrawal agreement”.