April 10, 2019 / 4:05 PM / in 15 days

Macron says long Brexit delay shouldn't be taken for granted

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talk to the media as they arrive at an extraordinary European Union leaders summit to discuss Brexit, in Brussels, Belgium April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday he was impatient to hear more from Prime Minister Theresa May on why European Union leaders should grant Britain an extension to the Brexit negotiation period.

“I am very impatient to listen to Theresa May, but as far as I’m concerned, nothing should be taken for granted. Nothing. And especially - I hear the rumors - a long extension,” Macron told reporters as he arrived at an EU summit in Brussels.

“We must understand why this request is being made, what political project justifies it, and what the proposals are,” he said.

Macron has been one of the most vocal leaders in expressing his irritation with how Brexit negotiations have dragged on, and is pushing for strict conditions to be attached to any delay granted to Britain.

French officials have said Britain should pledge not to obstruct EU decision-making and commit to stay out of major decisions - such as deciding the next European Commission president or budget talks - if it is to be granted a delay.

“Now is the time for decisions,” Macron said.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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