European Union to offer United Kingdom two Brexit extension options, initially to April 12

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They called on May to acknowledge "the reckless damage" leaving with no deal would cause and to secure an extension of the 29 March Brexit deadline.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson will vote for Theresa May's Brexit deal if the prime minister agrees to a second referendum on Brexit, it has been reported.

Her comment comes just days after the speaker of the House of Commons blocked her proposal to hold a third vote on the deal, citing 400-year-old precedent that says the same proposition can not be put to MPs again and again. Once source said the cabinet was in "panic mode" now.

Brussels said London will have until May 22 to prepare for the withdrawal, provided the UK Parliament approves the Brexit deal next week. In the event that the withdrawal agreement is not approved by the House of Commons by 29 March 2019, the extension will be until 12 April 2019.

If she fails, Britain must say whether it will take part in the European Union elections by April 12.

But there is huge anger among those who want to leave the European Union and do not understand why it is taking so long, while eight of May's senior ministers last week voted against any delay. "That's what tonight's decision from the Council enables us to do".

Ministers are therefore today not just wondering about how to manage one last heave for the prime minister's deal, but what they should do next, when - odds on - the whole issue is in the hands of the Commons, not Number 10.

"What this means in practice is that until that date all options will remain open and the cliff-edge date will be delayed", European Council President Donald Tusk said in a press conference.

Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.

The principal aim of their extension offer is thus to give Parliament the opportunity to force through a softer version of Brexit, or "even for the British to have a general election to break the current political impasse".

An online petition started in Britain on Wednesday asking for the government to do this has garnered more than 2.5 million signatures so far.

"If the leaders approve my recommendations, and if there is a positive vote in the House of Commons next week, we can finalise and formalise the decision on the extension in a written procedure", Tusk said in a statement.

Ms McEntee's government colleague Regina Doherty said she remained positive that a Brexit deal could be agreed during the "Flextension" period.

Tusk said he met with May several times Thursday "to make sure that the United Kingdom accepts the extension scenarios, and I'm pleased to confirm that we have reached an agreement on this".

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