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Why is Theresa May seeking a short Brexit delay that the EU is likely to reject?



Theresa May surprised many people this week, including some of his own parliamentarians, by asking the EU to postpone Brexit only until June 30.

It was expected that the Prime Minister would seek a longer delay to allow Parliament time to find a solution to the crisis.

Instead, she wrote to the President of the Donald Tusk European Council on Friday and requested only two and a half months more than the deadline of 12 April to break the deadlock in Parliament after MPs rejected his proposed withdrawal agreement three times .

She said: "The United Kingdom suggests that this period should end on June 30, 2019. If the parties can ratify by that date, the government proposes that the period should be terminated early.

" agree on a timetable for ratification that allows the UK to resign from the EU by 23 May 2019 and therefore cancel the elections to the European Parliament but will continue to make responsible preparations to hold the elections. "

A delay to June 30 is likely to force the United Kingdom to participate in elections to the European Parliament on May 23, but it would essentially say that Britain is leaving the EU before a new parliament sits in early July Mrs May has repeatedly said that she believes that the United Kingdom, which elects new members of the European Parliament, would not be acceptable

The inquiry is very unlikely to be approved by the EU. Instead, Mr Tusk draws up his own plan, which involves an extension of one year with the possibility of the UK leaving earlier if the MEP ratifies a repurchase agreement.

EU countries do not want a situation where they need to discuss further short delay to Brexit every few weeks Brussels is also unconvinced that a short delay will give Theresa May enough time to find a way to break the current fatal accident in parliament

So why has the minister requested a delay, which it will hardly be given?

The short answer is party management. The prime minister was under severe pressure from Tory Eurosceptics, including those within her cabinet, not to request a long delay for Brexit.

Supreme Ministers, including Gavin Williamson, Liz Truss, Chris Grayling, Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove held two meetings on Thursday to discuss how to persuade her to seek only a short extension.

. Against the background of the prospect of ministerial and rage in its parliamentary party, May may avert a major rebellion by asking for only two and a half months of delay – probably because the EU would insist for longer.

This allows her to argue her party that she did not want a long delay for Brexit and had a forced on her by the EU if Brussels insisted on a later departure date.

It is also possible that the parliament will take the matter out of her hands. According to a bill from the Minister of Labor MP Yvette Cooper, the government must seek Parliament's approval for the length of the extension it requests.

As the bill is expected to be adopted by Parliament at the beginning of next week, MPs could ultimately vote to force Mrs May to seek a longer extension.

Whether Mrs May will try to swell anger from Tory Brexiteers by insisting that she shares their perception that Brexit should be delivered rather than later. Whether her latest move will be enough to do so is a very different issue.

Got an unanswered question about Brexit? Send it to editor@independent.co.uk and we will do our best to provide an answer in our Brexit Explained Series


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