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Brexit: Theresa May at Brussels EU summit to urge short delay

London: Theresa May will make a direct plea to EU leaders later asking to postpone Brexit for three months, hours after telling the British public a delay was “a matter of great personal regret”.
At an EU summit in Brussels, she will try to persuade the other 27 countries to delay the UK’s exit beyond 29 March.
On Wednesday, the PM made a speech blaming the delay on MPs and telling the nation she was “on their side”.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn is also due in Brussels for separate Brexit talks.
The Labour leader will meet the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and the leaders of seven European countries to discuss alternatives to Mrs May’s Brexit plan.
He said Mrs May was “in complete denial about the scale of the crisis” facing the country and was “unable to offer the leadership the country needs”.
Her speech also sparked an angry response from MPs across the House of Commons, with some calling her comments “toxic” and “reckless”.
The UK is set to leave the EU next Friday unless the law is changed. The current default position for leaving is without a withdrawal agreement.
Mrs May agreed a deal with the EU, but MPs have rejected it twice.
She has asked the EU for a short extension of the two-year Brexit process until 30 June, but any extension needs to be agreed to by all EU members.
European Council President Donald Tusk said he believed the EU would agree to a short extension, but this would only be if Mrs May’s deal is signed off by MPs next week. Another EU summit next week could be called in an emergency if needed, he said.
Mr Tusk said the “question remains open” as to how long a delay the other EU leaders would support.
But, in her speech from Number 10, Mrs May insisted she would not be willing to postpone Brexit any further than 30 June, despite appeals from some MPs.
She added: “Of this I am absolutely sure. You, the public, have had enough.
“You are tired of the infighting, tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rows, tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit when you have real concerns about our children’s schools, our National Health Service, knife crime.
“You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side.”
She said it was now up to MPs to decide whether they wanted to leave with her deal, no deal or not to leave at all. But she warned that the latter option could cause “irreparable damage to public trust” in politicians.

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