Merkel, May discuss Brexit extension

UK MPs approve extension until June 30

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BERLIN/LONDON

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday discussed a possible extension to Brexit, amid deadlock in the U.K. parliament.

May’s face-to-face meeting with Merkel at the Chancellory in Berlin lasted for one-and-a-half-hour, but the leaders did not give any statement to the media.

Following her meeting with Merkel, the British premier headed to Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss extending the April 12 Brexit deadline. After suffering a humiliating defeat at the Parliament on her Brexit deal, Theresa May asked the EU last week to delay the U.K.’s departure date to June 30. EU leaders are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Wednesday for a special summit to discuss May’s request.

Local media reported earlier that the EU was considering to offer Britain a flexible extension until the end of 2019, with an option to leave earlier if the withdrawal agreement is ratified.

May’s Brexit deal was rejected three times by the British lawmakers, and last week British MPs also rejected four alternative proposals for the U.K.’s exit from the EU.

The U.K. is due to leave the bloc on April 12 — pushed back last month from March 29 — if the EU would not agree on an extension to Brexit. In a 2016 referendum, U.K. voters decided to leave the 28-member bloc after a more than 40-year-long membership.

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