March 14, 2019 / 3:10 PM / 6 months ago

EU needs very clear, comprehensive reason for Brexit extension - Luxembourg PM

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel attends a summit between Arab league and European Union member states, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, February 24, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union would need a very clear and comprehensive reason to agree to a request for an extension of Brexit talks beyond the March 29th deadline, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said on Thursday.

“‘Keep calm and drink tea’ is not an option for Brexit and the following days. We need a very clear and comprehensive reason for a delay extending Article 50,” Bettel said on Twitter.

The British parliament is due to vote later on Thursday on seeking a last-minute Brexit delay, while Prime Minister Theresa May piled renewed pressure on reluctant lawmakers to back her EU divorce deal at the third time of asking.

Two weeks before Britain is due to leave the European Union, May is using the threat of a long extension to the Brexit deadline to push eurosceptic rebels in her Conservative Party to finally back her deal. That vote could come next week.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski

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