May tries to avoid second referendum by requesting June 30 extension

Speaker John Bercow had the casting vote after the tie

Speaker John Bercow had the casting vote after the tie

Donald Tusk is planning to propose an extension of a year, which could also be shortened if Britain ratifies the withdrawal agreement, senior European Union officials said.

The UK is now due to leave the European Union on 12 April and, as yet, no withdrawal deal has been approved by MPs.

In her letter seeking a second extension, May told EU Council president Donald Tusk she wanted to ensure her country left the bloc in an "orderly way", as she fights to find a deal that parliament can get behind. Unable to convince her allies to back her own deal - Parliament has rejected it on three separate occasions - she's turned to Corbyn for help. "If the parties are able to ratify before this date, the government proposes that the period should be terminated earlier", May's letter said.

PPS By requesting a delay to "just" 30 June, Theresa May is trolling those who want a confirmatory referendum, or people's vote, because that delay is nowhere near long enough to accommodate a referendum.

At the same time, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said he will stand for the Brexit Party in European elections - if Britain takes part in them.

Mrs May's preferred extension date is created to avoid the United Kingdom having to participate in scheduled elections for the European Parliament, which she insists would be unacceptable.

The Brexit vote exposed deep fractures in British society, though the crisis it triggered has also shown a political system in dire need of reform.

Ms May said Britain would prepare for such an election, but she still hoped that an agreement would be reached sooner, allowing the extension to be ended early.

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Her decision sparked widespread fury among Tory Brexiteers who said it would be "crazy" for people to be asked to elect a fresh batch of MEPs nearly three years after voting to leave the EU.

Theresa May has written to the European Union to ask for an extension.

FILE PHOTO - German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a news conference with Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar during Merkel's visit to Dublin, where the latest Brexit developments were on the agenda, in Farmleigh House, Dublin, Ireland April 4, 2019.

The health secretary's comments followed the opening round of talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn aimed at finding a possible Brexit compromise which the Labour leader described as "useful but inconclusive".

Posters mocking British politicians outside the Houses of Parliament in London.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Bill made the chances of the United Kingdom crashing out "very unlikely", as he suggested he could accept a customs union compromise.

Last Friday, May did the unthinkable by asking Labour to negotiate with her on a deal that might work for both - although some in Labour said she was luring the party into sharing responsibility for her failure.

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