#Brexit - UK asks European Union for further extension until 30 June

Waiting game Mrs May has written to European Council president Donald Tusk to request another Brexit delay

The prime minister said the British government would like to agree a timetable for ratification that allows Britain to withdraw from the EU before May 23, but the government would continue to make responsible preparations for the European elections on the date.

French President Emmanuel Macron has thus far seemed cagey about giving Britain more time, saying the bloc can not be held hostage by Britain's political deadlock over Brexit.

"A delay is a tool, but not a solution in itself", a presidential source told AFP news agency.

The Prime Minister wrote to Mr Tusk requesting a delay until 30 June, with an option to leave earlier if she can get a Brexit deal through Parliament.

Meanwhile, Mrs May's request for an extension of Article 50 until not later than 30 June looks set to be rejected in Brussels, with EU Council President Donald Tusk set to offer only a one-year delay.

Amid the continued uncertainty, Tusk is considering proposing an offer of a 12-month "flexible" extension to the Brexit date, the BBC reported on Friday, citing a senior European Union source.

The offer, which would need European Union member states to vote in favor of next Wednesday, comes as Theresa May acknowledged that a further extension would be needed for Britain to avoid a disorderly departure from the EU.

The government's team is now negotiating with leaders from Britain's main opposition Labour Party in a bid to find a compromise solution to London's political stalemate. If we can not secure a majority among Conservative and DUP MPs we have no choice but to reach out across the House of Commons.

Ongoing talks Mr Corbyn is continuing discussions with the PM
Ongoing talks Mr Corbyn is continuing discussions with the PM

"If one country was to veto an extension and, as a result, impose hardship on us, real problems for the Dutch and Belgians and French as neighbouring countries (to the U.K.).they wouldn't be forgiven for it", he told Ireland's RTE radio.

Nigel Adams, a former minister who quit last week over May's decision to hold talks on Brexit with Jeremy Corbyn, said: "Over 170 Conservative MPs including cabinet ministers signed a letter to the PM last week urging her to ensure the United Kingdom does not take part in the European elections".

May said her government would abide by that vote if the opposition Labour Party does the same.

The Europeans would prefer that Britain not take part in the European Parliament elections if it is going to leave.

All 27 other European Union members will need to agree to a June 30 delay for it to be approved.

"We urge the prime minister to come forward with genuine changes to her deal in an effort to find an alternative that can win support in parliament and bring the country together", the statement said.

There are also concerns in Europe that some British politicians who want to provoke a "no-deal" Brexit might try to make trouble from inside the bloc, a course that outspoken Brexit advocate Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested Friday.

Labour say the Mrs May's team refused to reopen the "political declaration" - the framework needed for a future trade deal that must accompany the withdrawal agreement.

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