Prime Minister Theresa May was meant to spend Tuesday morning negotiating Brexit with her own Cabinet before debating the extension in the Commons. But instead, Mrs May will leave the UK to travel to European destination for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron. The change of plans came following phone calls last night, where the Prime Minister spoke to senior figures of the EU.
According to Politico, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, Dutch PM Mark Rutte and Maltese PM Joseph Muscat were among those to receiving calls from Downing Street on Monday night.
Mrs May is now looking for support for her request for a June 30 Brexit extension in Berlin before she heads Paris.
In France, Mrs May will make a personal plea to Emmanuel Macron not to veto her request for a further delay to Brexit.
Mr Macron could demand there be no extension of the Article 50 process unless the Prime Minister signs up to binding commitments to stand aside from the EU decision-making process.
The Prime Minister is aware she will need the support of both leaders ahead of tomorrow night’s crunch European Council summit in Brussels.
EU leaders will be under pressure tomorrow to decide whether to grant Britain another delay, a decision that can be vetoed by any of the other 27 member states.
And it seems Brussels already has plans of its own – with two proposals already being discussed by the EU 27.
These are: delaying Brexit until May 22 if MPs can approve a withdrawal deal by this Friday; or Britain facing a much longer extension, possibly to the end of 2019 or to March 2020.
EU27 ambassadors will meet tonight for pre-summit talks, where a draft response to May’s request will be approved ahead of this week’s EU summit.
Mrs May has already irritated EU leaders by only writing to Mr Tusk with her request for an extension the day before the March summit.
That gave officials little time to consider her plan in the coordinated way they prefer.
This time round it will all very different, as Downing Street ensured the European Council President received his letter well in advance.
Mrs May’s mini tour around Europe today could help each individual leader make a decision ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.
With the no-deal Brexit deadline only days away its crucial the Prime Minister reach a compromise with the EU tomorrow.
The current default position means the UK will leave the EU on April 12 if the bloc does not grant the extension.
The delay will allow more time for Mrs May to find a compromise that will get a majority in Parliament.
But so far, MPs have already rejected her Brexit deal three times, while also rejecting a no-deal Brexit and failing to reach a consensus for any alternative options.
The Prime Minister has resorted to holding talks with her political rival, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, to find a way out of the Brexit impasse.
Tomorrow night will be the time to see if it all pays off.
Published at Tue, 09 Apr 2019 09:51:00 +0000