British Prime Minister Theresa May says it would not be right for Britain to take part in May’s European elections and confirms she has written to the EU’s Donald Tusk requesting an extension of Article 50 until 30 June.
“As prime minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than 30 June”, she said.
The PM also says she will bring forward proposals for a third meaningful vote.
In her letter May stressed that the UK Government’s policy remains to leave the European Union in an orderly manner on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration agreed in November, complemented by the supplement and instrument agreed on March 11th.
In the letter Mrs May writes: “You will be aware that before the House of Commons rejected the deal for a second time on 12 March, I warned in a speech in Grimsby that the consequences of failing to endorse the deal were unpredictable and potentially deeply unpalatable. The House of Commons did not vote in favour of the deal. The following day it voted against leaving the EU without a negotiated deal. The day after that it supported a Government motion that proposed a short extension to the Article 50 period if the House supported a meaningful vote before this week’s European Council. The motion also made clear that if this had not happened, a longer extension would oblige the UK to call elections to the European Parliament. I do not believe that it would be in either of our interests for the UK to hold European Parliament elections”
She referred to the decision taken by the speaker of the Commons and thus the reason for the request.
May’s full letter follows.