Tusk suggests Brexit delay of up to year

Theresa May will meet German chancellor Angela Merkel

Leaving the European Union with "No Deal" is the preferred outcome for just under one in four Britons (24 per cent), while only 12 per cent want to Leave the EU with Theresa May's deal and 1 in 6 want Britain to leave the EU but remain in the Single Market / Customs Union.

British MPs have rejected a deal May negotiated with the European Union three times, but the PM is now in talks with the opposition Labour party to try break the deadlock. The Prime Minister doesn't want to see a long extension.

The Brexit Secretary supports Theresa May's request of an extension until 30th June, "so that we can come to an agreement within Parliament and then pass the legislation to ratify that".

European Council president Donald Tusk has suggested EU leaders grant the United Kingdom a longer extension of up to one year.

And if the European Council did not agree on an extension at all, "there would be a risk of an accidental no-deal Brexit", he added. A drastic cliff-edge exit would have huge costs to businesses and trade across the English Channel and be very cumbersome to travelers as it would likely hit airports, ports, tariff rules and standard regulations overnight.

The U.K.'s request for an extension comes after a prolonged period of disarray in British politics over Brexit with "Brexiteers" and "Remainers" still sorely divided over the departure.

The bloc's leaders have tried to help May over two years of negotiations, even after she missed her hand-picked Brexit departure date on March 29 because of a parliamentary revolt.

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She met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin for talks ahead of the summit. The reason for the change was unclear, though concerns have been growing about how badly a hard Brexit would hit the French economy, too.

May is hoping the extra time, if granted, will enable her to finally get a divorce deal through parliament.

But Paris is now expected to turn its focus on the conditions of a further Brexit delay, including the removal of Britain's seat in the European commission, currently filled by Sir Julian King, who has the security portfolio.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Monday he was still waiting for signs of compromise from May and talks have been suspended until the summit in Brussels.

An EU source familiar with the discussions said France will insist on "no veto and no participation in blocking minorities" during the extension. Labour favors a softer Brexit than the government has proposed, and wants to retain a close economic relationship with the bloc.

He said talks with Labour would continue on Thursday.

The UK would be expected to refrain from using its veto on the MFF but senior diplomats said there would be a way around the problem if the British government went "rogue".

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