March 21, 2019 / 7:14 PM / 3 months ago

EU mulls Brexit lag until May 7 - or the end of the year, diplomats say

BRUSSELS, March 21 (Reuters) - European Union leaders were discussing Brexit delay options on Thursday evening, mulling an extension until May 7th but also considering one until the end of the year, or even leaving the date open for now, diplomatic sources said.

They arrived for the summit in Brussels after British Prime Minister Theresa May asked to postpone the current exit date of March 29 until the end of June.

The summit’s chairman wanted to delay until May 22 if the British parliament approved the stalled EU-UK withdrawal deal next week. But France pushed back and the latest on the table was an offer until May 7th.

“This would just give us more time to prepare for a no-deal Brexit,” one diplomat said.

Others in the room proposed to leave the date open or go for a long delay until the end of this year, the sources said. (Reporting by Alastair Macdonald, Gabriela Baczynska, Jan Strupczewski; editing by William James)

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