Extend Brexit to June 30: PM May to EU

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LONDON/BRUSSELS

British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk on Friday asking for a delay of Brexit until up to June 30, but said she still hopes to get Britain out of the EU earlier to avoid it participating in European elections. Britain is now due to leave the EU in a week, but May has been forced to seek more time after Britain’s divided parliament failed to approve a withdrawal agreement. The UK proposes that this period should end on 30 June 2019, May said in the letter. Such a long extension means Britain would be required to hold elections for the European parliament. May said Britain would prepare for such an election, but she still hoped that an agreement would be reached sooner, allowing the extension to be ended early. The government will want to agree a timetable for ratification that allows the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union before 23 May and therefore cancel the European Parliament elections, but will continue to make responsible preparations to hold the elections should this not prove possible, she said.

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