Theresa May wrote to the European Union to ask for Article 50 extension to 30th June

Theresa May wants the leave date to be postponed until 30th June. She stated in a letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk that, “she needs more time to get her withdrawal deal passed and ratified by Parliament” (Letter in full). The EU says it may not grant an extension beyond 23 May and any delay must be agreed by all 27 member states (BBC).

Mr Tusk suggested there were some “political and legal issues” about granting an extension beyond 23 May relating to the UK’s participation in European elections – which Mrs May has said would be “unacceptable” (BBC).

France warned that the extension may be refused unless Theresa May offers guarantees on her Brexit strategy

Earlier today, French foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned that if Theresa May was not able to give the European Council sufficient guarantees about the credibility of her strategy, this would lead to the extension request being dismissed and subsequently, a no-deal Brexit (FT).

EU backs Brexit delay but only with deal

Mr Tusk said that a short extension would be possible if the UK Parliament approves the current withdrawal agreement next week. Mr Tusk said he believed all 27 members, who must sign off on the extension, would agree but it depended on a “positive” vote in the House of Commons.

He told reporters in Brussels that the length of any extension was open for discussion. Mr Tusk stated that while a delay until 30 June “had its merits”, he also suggested there were “political and legal” questions about delaying Brexit beyond 23 May (BBC).

President Tusk has said that for now he doesn’t foresee any additional summit next week — in contrast to a comment by Juncker this morning that EU leaders might need to meet again. He suggested that the Brexit extension could be finalized by written procedure (MLex).


Jessica's practice focuses on international trade and anti-bribery work, encompassing customs, export control and sanctions matters. Jessica's trade work includes advising international clients on fast-moving and evolving EU and UN sanctions, notably in respect of Iran and Russia, and on compliance with UK and EU export controls. Her trade experience also includes advising on tariff classification and customs valuations. Jessica's anti-bribery experience includes assisting with investigations, and advising clients on compliance with anti-bribery laws. Jessica has also taken a lead role in monitoring Brexit-related developments; analysing how they will affect the UK's trading position generally, and clients' businesses specifically. She has helped clients begin to conduct risk assessments of how Brexit will impact their businesses, and has assisted them in developing tailored Brexit strategies. Jessica also presents at various seminars, webinars, and conferences on the complexities of Brexit. Jessica advises global clients on complex issues arising from international transactions and works with clients across a number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, defence, finance, aviation, energy, and telecommunications. Jessica has also worked previously in Paris, and is fluent in French.

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