Brexit: Theresa May To Meet Angela Merkel And Emmanuel Macron

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British Prime Minister, Theresa May

Theresa May is to hold last-minute Brexit talks with the leaders of Germany and France later, four days before the UK is due to leave the EU.

Mrs May is meeting Angela Merkel in Berlin, followed by Emmanuel Macron in Paris, to urge them to back her request to delay Brexit again until 30 June.

The prime minister will be at an emergency summit on Wednesday when all 28 EU states will vote on an extension.

Cross-party talks aimed at breaking the impasse are also set to continue. The UK is currently due to leave the EU at 23:00 BST on Friday.
So far, MPs have rejected the withdrawal agreement Theresa May reached with other European leaders last year.

On Monday evening, Parliament passed a bill brought by Labour MP Yvette Cooper, which aims to force the prime minister to request a Brexit extension – rather than leave the EU without a deal on Friday, which is the default position.

The bill received its Royal Assent from the Queen on Monday night, and Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom told MPs that this meant there will be a government motion on Tuesday asking the House to approve the PM’s request to the EU to delay Brexit until 30 June.

But the final decision on an extension lies with the EU – and the leaders of all the 27 other EU countries have to agree to a decide whether to grant or reject an extension.

On Monday, Mrs May spoke by phone with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who said it was “crucial” for the EU’s members to know “when and on what basis” the UK will ratify the withdrawal deal.

Elsewhere, No 10 said ministers and their shadow counterparts will continue cross-party talks later, as they try to break the Brexit deadlock.

A Downing Street spokesman said the government was “committed to finding a way through” which requires both sides “to work at a pace”.

Talks between Labour and the government began last week, with Mrs May saying only a cross-party pact would see MPs agree a deal in Parliament.

On Monday, sources indicated the PM had not accepted Labour’s customs union demand, but there was a move towards changing the non-binding political declaration.

And the government reportedly suggested offering Labour a guarantee that any deal they reached could not be undone, creating a “lock”.

This aims to ease Labour concerns that any promises could be unpicked by the next Conservative leader.

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