May Rumours Swirling as EU Digs In on Brexit Extension

The EU have rebuffed May’s request for an Article 50 extension to 30th June, releasing a note insisting that the 23rd May is the crucial date – the day European Parliament elections begin. They say the PM can either have a “short technical extension” until 23rd May, any longer and it will have to be at least until the end of 2019 and the UK will have to participate in European Parliament elections. The commentariat’s unfounded speculation that the UK could avoid taking part as long as they left by the end of June falls flat again…

French media are reporting that Emmanuel Macron is considering vetoing any extension tomorrow if May can’t produce a “credible strategy” for getting to a deal. The BBC’s Adam Fleming reckons its too late for EU leaders to even agree one tomorrow as they haven’t had time to consult with national parliaments…

Whether Macron is serious or this is just part of a good-cop bad-cop routine remains to be seen. Donald Tusk has made no secret of his desire for the UK to hold a second referendum and cancel Brexit. There is no doubt that the EU27 will use any extension request to try to push the UK closer to one…

At that point it becomes the ultimate test of May’s resolve. May firmly put her eggs in the short extension basket today, what will she do if the EU try to force her into a long one with a second referendum as the price? Rumours are swirling that she will make a formal statement on the steps of Downing Street tonight…

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