EU still waiting for Brexit delay request

Members of a New Zealand biker gang perform the Haka to honour the victims of the mosque shootings in Christchurch. (Reuters pic)

BRUSSELS: European Union leaders have not yet received a letter from British Prime Minister Theresa May requesting Brexit be postponed, an official said Wednesday, on the eve of their summit.

“I have a problem here, because to be frank I have no new information to offer to you,” the senior European official told a briefing for reporters ahead of the two-day European Council which will consider any request.

“We have not received a letter from Prime Minister May. We have not received the request from the UK on the extension of Article 50 in any other form,” he said, despite reports that May plans to ask he colleagues for more time.

“For the moment, there is no request from the UK. Maybe it will come, maybe it won’t come,” he said, as May mulled whether to request a short extension to pass Brexit legislation, or a long one to rethink Britain’s strategy.

Without an extension, Britain will fall out of the European Union in nine days.

“What I can say now? … I have no basis to speculate about length,” the official said.

“I guess the 27 will have a debate on Brexit in light of the state of play of situation.”

In London, a Downing Street official told the BBC May will be seeking a short delay to Brexit.