03:06 GMT +310 December 2019
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    EU Backed Longer Delay Despite Macron's Call to Postpone Brexit Till May: Source

    © Sputnik / Alexei Vitvitsky
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The leaders of all EU member states besides the United Kingdom opted to delay Brexit until May 22, despite French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting that London only be allowed to postpone its withdrawal from the European Union until May 7, a diplomatic source in Brussels told Sputnik on Friday.

    "I have information that Macron's suggestion to delay Brexit until May 7 was not supported. EU leaders approved the option that European Council President Donald Tusk put forward — to give London a delay until May 22," the source said.

    Macron, whose stance on Brexit is by far one of the toughest among EU leaders, threatened in late February to block any extension of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty if UK Prime Minister Theresa May failed to ensure a positive vote on the withdrawal deal in the UK parliament.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May had to request the Brexit delay as the country's lawmakers had repeatedly rejected the Brexit deal agreed between London and Brussels. At the same time, they have also ruled out a no-deal Brexit.

    READ MORE: EU27 Unanimously Agree to May's Request for Brexit Delay

    In her letter, May asked to delay the deadline until June 30, while EU leaders agreed on Thursday to extend the withdrawal deadline only until May 22, given that the UK lawmakers approve the deal the next week. If the lawmakers choose not to back the deal, the deadline will be extended until April 12.

    That echoes the position of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who insisted that Brussels could approve a short delay to Brexit, provided that London agreed on a Brexit deal next week.

    READ MORE: 'There Are 2 Options: May's Deal or No Deal' — Journo on Brexit

    Article 50, Brexit, European Union, Emmanuel Macron, United Kingdom
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