Theresa May seeks help from Merkel and Macron ahead of critical Brexit summit

KEY POINTS

  • U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to Berlin and Paris Tuesday for talks with the German and French leaders in a bid to secure backing for a second delay to Brexit.
    The talks come before EU leaders meet in Brussels on Wednesday for an emergency summit dedicated to Brexit.
  • At the EU Council meeting, the remaining 27 EU leaders will have to decide whether or not to grant the U.K. more time before it leaves the bloc.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to Berlin and Paris Tuesday for talks with the German and French leaders in a bid to secure backing for a second delay to Brexit.

The talks come before EU leaders meet in Brussels on Wednesday for an emergency summit dedicated to Brexit. At the EU Council meeting, the remaining 27 EU leaders will have to decide whether or not to grant the U.K. more time before it leaves the bloc — which was due to take place on Friday.

The country was originally meant to leave the EU on March 29 but was granted more time as U.K. lawmakers rejected May’s withdrawal agreement on three separate occasions. It has now asked for another extension of the Brexit deadline, to June 30.

In the meantime, a Brexit deal has still not been approved by British politicians, although they have also rejected the option of leaving the EU without a deal. Several alternative Brexit proposals have failed to find a clear majority of support.

Therefore the U.K.’s fate is now largely in the hands of its European neighbors and the U.K. will have to justify asking for more time when no consensus appears forthcoming.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she is willing to grant the U.K. more time. No details of May’s meeting with Merkel were revealed Tuesday but a statement noted that that the leaders “agreed on the importance of ensuring Britain’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union.”

French President Emmanuel Macron might be harder to win round when May meets him in Paris Tuesday evening. He has previously insisted that Britain must present a “credible plan” to justify an extension. He is also reportedly keen to attach strict conditions to granting one.

“My take on this stance by Macron is that it’s mainly postering,” Silvia Dall’Angelo, senior economist at Hermes Investment Management, told CNBC Tuesday. “It’s in everybody’s interest to get to a deal with the U.K.”

“A no-deal Brexit would be mainly a problem for the U.K. but it would have negative spill-overs for the euro zone as well. At the end of the day, the EU leaders including Macron will concede an extension but of course there will be conditions attached to it,” she told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”…

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