British Prime Minister Theresa May held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday in a last-gasp bid to keep her country from crashing out of the European Union (EU) at the end of the week.
Ms. May is hoping that EU leaders will agree at an emergency summit on Wednesday to postpone Brexit from April 12 to June 30, to give her more time to get her divorce deal through Parliament.
British MPs have rejected the text, and Ms. May’s government is now in talks with the Opposition Labour party to try to find a way through the deadlock.
But these discussions are moving slowly, and EU negotiator Michel Barnier said Ms. May must explain in Brussels what another postponement would achieve.
“The length of the extension must be linked to the purpose — what it’s for — and that depends on what Mrs. May will say to European leaders tomorrow,” he told reporters after a meeting of EU Ministers in Luxembourg. He added: “It is for her to bring the roadmap.”
The EU has already granted one delay — the original Brexit deadline was March 29 — and Mr. Barnier said it would not be the bloc’s fault if Britain crashed out this week, risking huge economic disruption.