March 12, 2019 / 8:47 PM / 13 days ago

Dutch PM Rutte: Brexit delay request would need 'convincing justification'

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte attends a summit between Arab league and European Union member states, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, February 24, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Any request from the British government for a delay to its departure from the European Union must be supported by a “credible and convincing justification”, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday.

“Should the UK hand in a reasoned request for an extension, I expect a credible and convincing justification,” Rutte tweeted after the British parliament overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement for a second time.

The British parliament is likely to vote on Thursday on requesting a delay to Britain’s departure — something that would have to be approved by the EU’s other 27 member states.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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