Britain will not take part in EU parliament elections - Callanan

Pro-Brexit demonstrators protest opposite Downing Street, London, Britain, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain will not take part in the elections to the European Parliament in May because it will leave the European Union on March 29th, junior Brexit minister Martin Callanan told reporters on Tuesday.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday that although it seemed unlikely, he could not rule out that Britain would participate in the European elections because it could ask for an extension of the deadline to leave the EU.

But asked if Britain could take part in the elections, Callanan said: “No, because we are leaving ... on the 29th of March”

Asked if that meant Britain would not ask for an extension of the deadline to get more time to agree a withdrawal agreement, Callanan said:

“The prime minister has been very clear that we intend to leave on the 29th of March -- that’s what Art 50 says and that’s what our domestic legislation says.”

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Phil Blenkinsop