Britain must leave EU by May 23 or hold own EU vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attend a news conference in Strasbourg, France March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Britain must leave the European Union by the time EU voters elect a new European Parliament on May 23-26 or will have to elect its own EU lawmakers, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday.

Writing to EU summit chair Donald Tusk after agreeing a deal to break Brexit deadlock with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Juncker wrote: “The United Kingdom’s withdrawal should be complete before the European elections that will take place between May 23-26 this year.”

“If the United Kingdom has not left the European Union by then, it will be legally required to hold these elections.”

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald in Brussels, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska