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Juncker rejects May appeal for a further short Brexit delay

European commission president says 12 April ‘ultimate deadline’ for MPs to pass deal

Theresa May’s appeal for a short Brexit extension has been rejected by Jean-Claude Juncker, who said that unless the withdrawal deal was passed within nine days the UK would crash out of the EU or have to sign up to a long delay.

Less than 24 hours after May had spelled out her new strategy from Downing Street, the European commission president dismissed her request for an extension of article 50 to 22 May.

Speaking to the European parliament, Juncker instead set an “ultimate deadline” of 12 April for the Commons to approve the withdrawal agreement.

“If it has not done so by then, no further short extension will be possible,” he said. “After 12 April, we risk jeopardising the European parliament elections, and so threaten the functioning of the European Union.”

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