Brexit deadline could be pushed back on UK request: French minister

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The European Union could push back the looming March 29 Brexit deadline if London made such a request, France’s Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Wednesday.

“At the time of speaking, it’s just a theory because Mrs May has never asked for it and neither has anyone in her entourage,” Loiseau told France Inter radio.

“Legally, technically, it’s possible. The British need to ask for it and there needs to be a unanimous agreement among the 27 other members of the European Union to say: ‘Alright, you chose March 29 as the leaving date… Ok, we’ll push it back.’ ”

Loiseau stressed that other EU nations considered the deal already on the table to be “the only one possible”.

She added: “But for how long, and to do what? Because if it’s to tell us that they need more European concessions, that is going to be complicated.”

Her comments came the morning after Britain’s parliament overwhelmingly rejected the deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May to leave the EU.

Loiseau stressed that other EU nations considered the deal already on the table to be “the only one possible”.

Read more: British PM faces confidence vote after Brexit humiliation

“The agreement cannot be looked at again,” Loiseau said.

“We have really explored all the options. If you want an orderly separation which allows Britain to stay close to the European Union in the future, this is the agreement,” she added.

“The other options… are either no deal, or no Brexit.” In a message to Britain, she said: “Hurry up… March 29 is right around the corner.”

© Agence France-Presse

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