Britain’s Theresa May asks for Brexit delay

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May is writing to the European Union to formally ask for Brexit to be postponed.

At present, the UK is set to leave the EU with or without a deal in nine days.

A cabinet source told the BBC Mrs. May plans to ask the EU to agree to postpone the UK’s departure until 30 June, but with an option of a longer delay as well.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the EU would not grant a delay without a “concrete plan” from the UK about what they would do with it.

British MPs rejected the withdrawal deal May has negotiated with the EU for a second time last week by 149 votes. They also voted in favour of ruling out leaving the EU without a deal, and in favour of extending the Brexit process.

The prime minister had hoped to have another try at getting MPs to back the deal this week – but Speaker John Bercow effectively torpedoed that with his surprise intervention on Monday.

She still hopes to ultimately get it in front of MPs for a third go, but says even if that happens and they vote in favour of it, the UK will need a short extension to get the necessary legislation through Parliament.