Brexit: Barnier suggests EU might not grant long article 50 extension unless May backs customs union – live news | Politics

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Brexit: Barnier suggests EU might not grant long article 50 extension unless May backs customs union – live news | Politics
Brexit: Barnier suggests EU might not grant long article 50 extension unless May backs customs union – live news | Politics


Tomorrow night EU leaders will decide whether to grant the UK another article 50 extension, delaying Brexit. If they say no, the UK will have to leave at 11pm on Friday. Another extension is likely, but it may come with some unpalatable conditions. This afternoon MPs will debate Theresa May’s proposal for an extension lasting until 30 June. But the UK won’t even be in the room when the EU27 decide their offer, and today May will be visiting Berlin and Paris to speak to Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to press her case. In a speech in 2016 during the EU referendum campaign Michael Gove, the co-leader of Vote Leave who is now environment secretary, declared: “The day after we vote to leave we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want.” Today, as May visits Germany and France in the role of supplicant, she will demonstrate quite how monumentally wrong Gove’s prediction turned out to be.

Here is a preview story from my colleague Daniel Boffey.

And here is a Guardian analysis of what Berlin and Paris are both looking for.

Merkel and Macron, and other EU leaders, want the UK to agree a Brexit deal, and they will be asking May about the chances of her talks with Labour producing a compromise solution that could get through parliament. But this morning on the Today programme David Gauke, the justice secretary, did not raise hopes that a breakthrough was imminent. Asked if there would be an agreement with Labour in the next 24 hours, he replied:


I’m not going to make a prediction in terms of where we are going to get to. But, from what I hear, both sides – I certainly know our side – are keen to engage, but I’m hearing that about the Labour side as well. So I hope we can make progress.

Here is the agenda for the day.

11am (UK time): Theresa May meets Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, in Berlin.

11am: The EU holds a briefing on consumer and employment rights after Brexit.

11.30am: Philip Hammond, the chancellor, takes questions in the Commons.

12pm: Cabinet ministers Matt Hancock, Penny Mordaunt and Michael Gove, and Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee, speak at the launch of a report from the thinktank Onward on the age gap in politics. Given the line-up, it is being seen a effectively a hustings for the forthcoming Tory leadership contest.

12pm: Tory Brexiters Mark Francois, Andrew Bridgen and Anne Marie Morris speak at a Bruges Group event headed “No delay, no capitulation – no deal”. (Note: this is not seen by lobby journalists as a parade of leadership contenders.)

Afternoon: MPs will debate a government motion saying the PM should seek an article 50 extension lasting until 30 June. This debate is taking place because of the Yvette Cooper bill that received royal assent last night.

5pm (UK time): May meets Emmanuel Macron, the French president, in Paris.

As usual, I will be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web, although I expect to be focusing mostly on Brexit. I plan to post a summary at lunchtime and another when I wrap up.

You can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here. Here is the Politico Europe round-up of this morning’s political news. And here is the PoliticsHome list of today’s top 10 must-reads.

If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

I try to monitor the comments BTL but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply ATL, although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter.





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