May asks for Brexit extension through June, EU could offer up to a year

British Prime Minister Theresa May asked the European Union on Friday to give the United Kingdom one month to work out its ongoing dispute over Brexit and how the country will leave the EU.

Reuters and Bloomberg News report that May asked EU officials to set a new deadline of June 30 for the U.K. to follow through with Brexit, as the country currently faces a hard deadline of April 12 when it will leave the EU without a deal if one has not been passed by Parliament.


“The United Kingdom proposes that this period should end on 30 June 2019,” May wrote, according to the news outlets.

“The government will want to agree to a timetable for ratification that allows the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union before 23 May, 2019, and therefore cancel the European Parliament elections, but will continue to make responsible preparations to hold the elections should this not prove possible.”

Her request for an extension comes after multiple, repeated efforts to pass various forms of EU exit measures through Parliament, all of which failed, some by precariously thin margins.

A senior official with the multinational trading bloc told Reuters that the EU could be willing to give May up to a year to work out Brexit with Parliament as both sides are eager to avoid a so-called no-deal Brexit.

“It seems to be a good scenario for both sides, as it gives the U.K. all the necessary flexibility, while avoiding the need to meet every few weeks to further discuss Brexit extensions,” the official told Reuters of an extension.

“The only reasonable way out would be a long but flexible extension. I would call it a ‘flextension,’ ” they added.

Some countries in the EU appeared less inclined to grant the extension, according to Reuters, with France's finance minister, in particular, raising questions about May's request.

“If we are not able to understand the reason why the U.K. is asking for an extension, we cannot give a positive answer,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said, according to Reuters.