Theresa May pleads for Brexit delay at crunch European Union summit

A review of the matter is to take place in June.

She said the Government would agree to accept the decisions and that the opposition would have to agree to that as well.

British sources said May had been aware in advance of a need to convince the European Union that she had a new strategy for securing the parliamentary majority she needs to ratify an exit treaty she negotiated with Brussels, which British lawmakers have rejected.

Farage, who now serves as an MEP (Member of the European Parliament), launched the new Brexit Party, promising to bring about a democratic revolution in British politics.

However, the pro-EU and pro-Brexit parties are eager to run for elections, which was view as a way to express strong disagreement views on the bloc.

The UK is now formally on track to hold elections, having informed the European authorities ahead of Friday's deadline that it would be taking part in the ballots occurring across the continent from 23-26 May. The question, which itself was open to generous interpretation, was used as a launch pad for all sorts of arguments by the Leave campaign, ranging from the need to end free movement from the European Union and immigration more widely, to having the opportunity to strike trade deals independently, to ending payments to the European Union, to challenging the establishment.

Even though May technically has until October 31, other dates before then could play into the UK's departure.


But there was little sign the UK's divided and exhausted lawmakers had heeded the EU's plea not to waste the six months of extra time granted to Britain at an emergency summit in Brussels.

Launching his return to front-line politics in Coventry, Farage said the launch marked the start of a fightback against a career political class that has betrayed the Brexit referendum. UKIP has since shifted to the far right; its new leader hired anti-Muslim agitator and convicted fraudster Tommy Robinson as an adviser.

"I never wanted to seek this extension", Mrs May said.

"I joined the Conservative Party in 1984 and this is not a decision I have made lightly - to leave a party for which I have fought at every election since 1987, from Maggie Thatcher through to Theresa May", she said.

"We will change politics for good". May has urged them to "reflect" and use the break to "resolve to find a way through this impasse".

In particular, she wanted to explain to veterans of Europe's compromise-and-coalition politics that her move to open talks last week with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was a "significant undertaking" that held out a promise of finally securing a deal, if the European Union extended the Brexit deadline beyond Friday. The Brussels summit was more tense than expected, with France's President Emmanuel Macron opposing a long extension, with most others including German chancellor Angela Merkel in favour.

"I remain optimistic that over the next couple of months we will get a deal done", he told reporters in Washington where he is attending meetings at the International Monetary Fund.

  • Tracy Klein