May will seek fresh Article 50 extension and sit down with opposition to find a Brexit solution

British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a further delay to Brexit and said a "short extension" to Article 50 is needed.

May said she understood some people are "so fed up with the delay" that they want to leave with no-deal but said the best option was to leave with one and wanted the process to be finished by May 22 so that the UK does not have to partake in the European Parliament election.

The prime minister said she was "offering to sit down" with the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, to agree a plan to break the political stalemate. But she said a deal must include her withdrawal agreement, which British MPs have rejected three times.

Any plan agreed with Corbyn would then be put forward to MPs to approve and would then be taken to the Europèean Council meeting next week.

However, if May and Corbyn do not agree on a way forward, then a series of options for the future relationship with the EU would be put to the Commons.

The President of the European Council appeared to indicate he could be open to May's suggestion. In a Tweet, he wrote: "Even if, after today, we don't know what the end result will be, let is be patient." 

May's comments come as Labour MP Yvette Cooper and a cross-party group of ministers are attempting to table a motion that would propose an extension to Article 50 to ensure the UK cannot leave the EU with no-deal by default.

MPs are hoping the bill would go through to the House of Commons on Wednesday and would be debated by the House of Lords on Friday or Monday.

The plan comes as the EU ramped up pressure on Tuesday and warned a no-deal Brexit looks increasingly likely.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Tuesday a no-deal Brexit is “very likely” and increasingly so by the day after the House of Commons rejected all the alternative solutions to Theresa May’s deal.

France's President Emmanuel Macron also had strong words. He said the European Union will not be hostage to a "political crisis" in the UK, as he held talks with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

Read more:

The EU cannot be held 'hostage' to Brexit crisis, says Macron

EU chief negotiator Barnier says no deal increasingly likely but 'we can still hope to avoid it'

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By: Euronews (64953.30)

Tags: News & Politics