The Prime Minister has now officially requested an extension of the Brexit deadline to 30 June 2019 to enable her to bring the negotiated withdrawal deal (the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration on future relations) back to Parliament for a third ‘Meaningful Vote’.  She has also stated that, as Prime Minister, she could not support any extension beyond this point in any circumstances.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, responded that a short extension would be possible, but would be conditional on a positive vote on the withdrawal deal. Draft European Council conclusions state: “The European Council commits to agreeing to an extension until 22 May 2019, provided the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons next week. Given that The UK does not intend to hold elections to the EP, no extension is possible beyond that date”.

President Macron echoed this tough stance this afternoon saying that while he was “open to a technical extension” of next week’s Brexit date if Theresa May’s deal is approved by the UK parliament, a rejection by MPs should trigger a no-deal: “In the case of a negative vote, we will go towards “no deal” –  we all know it,” he said.