March 20, 2019 8:23 am
Updated: March 20, 2019 5:06 pm

British PM Theresa May asks to delay Brexit until June 30, denies plans for 2nd referendum

WATCH ABOVE: Theresa May rejects election, another Brexit referendum, says MPs should do their jobs


British Prime Minister Theresa May asked the European Union on Wednesday to delay Brexit for three more months — hoping to get more time to properly ratify the divorce deal.

May also shot down any suggestion of a second referendum.

“This delay is a matter of great personal regret for me,” May said in a statement delivered in her Downing Street residence.

May urged lawmakers, who have twice previously rejected her plan, to back her now.

WATCH: Speaker says U.K government can’t submit same Brexit deal to a vote

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“I passionately hope that (lawmakers) will find a way to back the deal I have negotiated with the EU, a deal that delivers on the referendum and is the very best deal negotiable, and I will continue to work night and day to secure the support” for the deal.

“But I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June,” she said.

In a letter penned to the European Council President Donald Tusk earlier Wednesday, May asked to delay the deal until June 30.

READ MORE: Explained: What happens next in the Brexit saga?

“As prime minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June,” May said.

“I have therefore this morning written to President Tusk, the president of the European Council, informing him that the U.K. seeks an extension to the article 50 period until the 30th June,” she said.

This comes nearly three years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU and nine days before the formal exit deadline. British politicians are still arguing over how, when or even if the world’s fifth largest economy should leave the bloc it first joined in 1973.

May’s request for a Brexit delay could be turned down by the EU if Britain cannot provide sufficient guarantees that its parliament will approve the negotiated divorce, France said Wednesday.

WATCH: Brexit supporters fear they won’t get deal they voted for.

“A situation in which Mrs May would not be able to present to the European Council sufficient guarantees about the credibility of her strategy would lead to the extension request being dismissed and opting for a no-deal exit,” French Foreign Miniser Jean-Yves Le Drian told France’s parliament.

All remaining EU 27 members must agree on any extension. EU leaders are expected to discuss the matter at a summit on Thursday

Parliament will have the chance to discuss a motion on Brexit on Monday, Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said.

— With files from Reuters

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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