March 14, 2019 / 3:00 PM / 5 months ago

Portugal says would back sufficiently long Brexit delay

A man stands in front of a British flag outside the Houses of Parliament, ahead of a Brexit vote, in London, Britain March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal is ready to support a delay to Britain’s exit from the European Union if London properly justifies such a request, but it has to be sufficiently long so that the sides can find an acceptable solution, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

“Allowing an extension by just some weeks we would create an illusion that the current problem is of a technical nature, when what we’ve got is a political issue,” the ministry’s statement said.

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, but on Wednesday its parliament rejected withdrawing without a deal, paving the way for a vote that could delay Brexit for weeks or even months.

Reporting By Catarina Demony and Andrei Khalip; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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