On Tuesday PM May rushed to Berlin and Paris to “test the waters” with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, Europe’s two most powerful leaders, prior to Wednesday as the issue will be formally discussed by EU leaders at a special summit. The current date is set for April 12.
However, an advance draft of the conclusions for the emergency EU summit confirmed there will be another delay on certain conditions, which might include a demand for a longer extension and France’s bid to limit the British’s veto power in an effort to safeguard the EU’s decisions, as the U.K is still part of the bloc.
May is urging for another short extension for June 30, which is unlikely as EU officials don’t want to go through the whole process all over again. Yet it is a date British MPs approved Tuesday, by a 420-110, after parliamentarians passed a law on Monday giving themselves the power to scrutinize and make legally binding changes to the original PM’s request.
Meanwhile, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said there was "little reason to believe" a Brexit deal would be approved by June 30, thus insisting on asking the EU to grant a "flexible" 12-month extension. Also, a “flextension” proposal is floating around, which would extend the process until the end of the year or until March 2020, under which Britain could leave much sooner if its warring parties can find a majority.
Several EU diplomats have stated the 12-month extension proposed by Tusk, who will chair the summit, was unlikely to happen as it “would be too long.” The official date will be set on Wednesday.
In a draft that has been circulating ahead of the meeting, a deadline has purposely being left blank, referring to the extension lasting "only as long as is necessary and, in any event, no longer than XX.XX.XXXX and ending earlier if the withdrawal agreement is ratified".