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EU offers Brexit delay until May 22 – draft statement



FILE PHOTO: Flags flutter outside Parliament's houses before a Brexit vote in London, UK, March 13, 2019. REUTERS / Tom Jacobs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) ̵

1; The European Union will accept to transfer Britain a Brexit delay until May 22, if its parliament approves the divorce agreement next week, according to draft conclusions the 27 other national leaders considered on Thursday.

"The European Union undertakes to accept by 29 March 2019 an extension until 22 May, provided that the withdrawal agreement is approved by the House of Commons next week," said the draft, seen by Reuters.

"Given that the United Kingdom does not intend to hold elections to the European Parliament, there is no possibility of extension after that date."

Just eight days before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, British Prime Minister Theresa May appealed to her fellow EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday to give her a postponement until June 30.

"The European Council reiterates that the withdrawal agreement cannot be opened … Any one-sided obligation, declaration or other act should be compatible with the letter and spirit of the withdrawal agreement," it said.

The EU underlined in a text that was still discussed by the leaders without May and could change to continue the preparations for an unused brexit.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Elizabeth Piper

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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