EU ministers have said that a letter from Theresa May requesting a further Brexit delay, through the mechanism of an article 50 extension, is too vague to justify it being offered. In a letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European council, May said the UK would like to delay Brexit until 30 June.
She specified that date even though, when she asked for an extension until 30 June last month, EU leaders refused, and set 12 April – next Friday – as the deadline if MPs failed to vote for the withdrawal deal. At the time, the EU also said that, if the UK wanted a further extension beyond 12 April, May would have to explain “a way forward”.
In her letter today. May said that she hoped to agree a compromise with Labour and that, if that failed, she might use indicative votes in the Commons to find a way forward. Using similar language, the French, German and Dutch governments all complained that this did not provide enough clarity about how the UK might resolve its Brexit deadlock.