April 9, 2019 / 7:24 AM / 5 months ago

EU needs to know why Britain wants Brexit extension, what role it will play: France

FILE PHOTO - Amelie de Montchalin, newly-appointed French Junior Minister for European affairs, leaves the Elysee Palace following the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, France, April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union must understand what Britain wants to achieve during its requested extension of the Brexit deadline and what role it wants to play in the EU during that time before the EU can grant the delay, French EU minister Amélie de Montchalin said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May asked to postpone the day on which Britain is to leave the EU to June 30 from April 12 because the British parliament cannot decide on what terms it wants to leave the bloc.

Montchalin said however, that such an extension would not be automatic.

“We want to understand what the UK needs this extension for,” she told reporters on entering a meeting of EU ministers inLuxembourg that is to prepare the Brexit summit on Wednesday.

“Then come the questions of the conditions: what role the UK wants to play during this extension time, in what kind of decisions it wants to take part,” she said.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski

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