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UK PM to make Brexit delay plea

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EU leaders are to meet for an emergency summit in Brussels to decide whether to offer the UK another delay to Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May wants to postpone the date the UK leaves the EU beyond this Friday, until 30 June.

But the EU is expected to offer a longer delay, after European Council President Donald Tusk urged the other 27 leaders to back a flexible extension of up to a year – and with conditions.

Every EU member state needs to agree before a delay can be granted.

The UK is currently due to leave the EU at 23:00 BST on Friday, April 12.

So far, UK MPs have rejected the withdrawal agreement Mrs May reached with other European leaders last year, so she is now asking for the leaving date to be extended.

If no extension is granted, the default position would be to leave on Friday without a deal.

Mrs. May will head to Belgium this afternoon, after her weekly clash with Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons.

That head-to-head follows five days of talks between the government and Labour officials aimed at breaking the Brexit impasse.

At the summit – which begins at around 18:00 local time (17:00 BST) on Wednesday evening – Mrs May will formally present her case for a short delay until 30 June, with the option for the UK to leave earlier if her Brexit deal is ratified.

Meanwhile, talks between Labour and the Conservatives are scheduled to resume after Mrs May returns from the summit.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the talks had been “open and constructive” but the sides differed on a “number of areas”. Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said they were “hopeful progress will be made”.

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