April 9, 2019 / 3:25 PM / 2 months ago

Brexit delay to May 22 might not be sufficient for May to pass deal - solicitor general

Anti-Brexit protesters are seen outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain cannot be certain that delaying Brexit to May 22 would provide enough time to ratify Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the government’s Solicitor General Robert Buckland said on Tuesday.

May has asked the EU to extend the Article 50 negotiating period to June 30 while she seeks to reach a compromise with the opposition Labour Party in order to get her agreement with Brussels approved by Britain’s parliament.

“Whilst all sides recognise the urgency with which we need to make progress, given where we are and that this will be challenging we cannot be certain that an extension until just May 22 would provide us with sufficient time,” Buckland told parliament.

Asked by a lawmaker about the prospect of the EU proposing a longer delay, Buckland said May would “listen carefully to any constructive suggestions made by the EU”.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Alistair Smout

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