Theresa May has defended her decision to extend the deadline for leaving the EU as it remains her ‘priority’ to deliver Brexit. Speaking on Thursday, May has promised an ‘orderly’ Brexit and seeks to leave the EU ‘as soon as possible’ ahead of the extended deadline. Furthermore the Government said it would ‘continue to make all necessary preparations’ for a no deal Brexit if an agreement cannot be reached as there still is a chance that an agreement may not be reached. The news of an extension did not cause Sterling to rally as the market anticipated a further delay.
May has continued cross party talks with Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to come to a compromise to break the current Brexit deadlock. May suggested that there isn’t much of a difference between Labour and her government on their trade proposals with a custom unions agreement a possible area of compromise. May was vocal regarding the custom unions proposal stating the U.K. would benefit from the custom unions agreement with the option of being able to create the U.K’s own independent trade policy also. Labour are in favour of a custom unions proposal and May is looking for a way to ensure that this can be achieved with the U.K. being able to be in charge of its own policy in the future.
Lastly European council president Donald Tusk said future developments were ‘entirely in the U.K’s hands, adding they still can ratify the withdrawal agreement in which can cancel the current extension’. Mr Tusk also went onto say the U.K. could rethink its strategy or chose to ‘cancel Brexit all together’ urging the U.K. to ‘not waste time’. With an extension given by the EU, the U.K. are scheduled to take part in the EU elections, however if they refuse to take part then June 1st could be the date the U.K. leaves without a deal if the withdrawal agreement does not pass through U.K. parliament.