Tusk suggests Brexit delay of up to year

Brexit summit: EU expected to grant UK extension with strings attached

This after May asked the bloc for a second delay to the U.K.'s departure.

"The UK would be free to leave whenever it is ready and the EU-27 would avoid repeated Brexit summits", Tusk added before saying that a longer extension would allow the UK to rethink its Brexit strategy. The Prime Minister doesn't want to see a long extension.

While the talks were taking place in London, May undertook a diplomatic push in Berlin and Paris in a bid to secure another extension to the negotiating process, despite being unable to present the credible alternative Brexit plan the European Union said it required to sanction such a move.

Her comments were in line with a plan put forward by European Council president Donald Tusk for an extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process.

Earlier, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay insisted ministers were committed to taking Britain out of the European Union at the "earliest opportunity".

Mrs May will comply with the motion by formally requesting a delay to the departure date in Brussels today. A drastic cliff-edge exit would have huge costs to businesses and trade across the English Channel and be very cumbersome to travelers as it would likely hit airports, ports, tariff rules and standard regulations overnight.

The bloc's leaders have tried to help May over two years of negotiations, even after she missed her hand-picked Brexit departure date on March 29 because of a parliamentary revolt.

As May was holding talks in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, a team of her top ministers were negotiating in London with Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and leading shadow ministers from the main opposition party. The reason for the change was unclear, though concerns have been growing about how badly a hard Brexit would hit the French economy, too.

May's chances of ratifying the withdrawal agreement she signed in Brussels in November a year ago rely on either rebel MPs in her Conservative party and her Northern Irish allies backing her deal at the fourth time of asking - or a compromise with the opposition.

Among conditions France is now setting to agree to a new delay: A "credible prospect" of some kind of solution to the British political deadlock. And guarantees that Britain would not be involved in future European Union decisions while its Brexit drama is playing out.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas meanwhile said Brussels was "fully prepared" to cope in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Every British initiative to get a deal has floundered so far.

The visits came as the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Brussels could amend the political declaration on future relations with the United Kingdom "within a few hours or days" to incorporate the customs union arrangement being discussed in cross-party talks between the Government and Labour.

As Brexit chaos continues onto another day it appears that Labour have pulled ahead in the polls.

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