EU set to decide on UK Brexit delay as Tory MP threatens legal challenge over lengthy extension

Jessica Clark
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Theresa May's bid for a short extension to 30 June is unlikely to win EU approval today (Source: Getty)

The EU is set to decide whether to accept the UK’s Brexit extension proposal today, as French president Emmanuel Macron was warned not to humiliate Theresa May.

Read more: Voters would punish Tories for Brexit delay at MEP elections

EU leaders are expected to reject the Prime Minister’s proposal for an extension until 30 June and offer a 12-month Article 50 extension, which could be cut short if a withdrawal deal is agreed.

European Council president Donald Tusk said: “Neither side should be allowed to feel humiliated at any stage in this difficult process”, and warned that Macron’s proposals for “good behaviour reviews” could risk poisoning the relationship between the EU and the UK.

Meanwhile, Brexiteer politicians have voiced opposition to the prospect of a lengthy delay, with Tory Brexiteer MP Bill Cash writing to Tusk to warn a 12-month delay would face a legal challenge.

He said: “It is my expectation that any such agreement would be likely to be the subject of a legal challenge in the British courts.”

Read more: Cross-party Brexit talks abandoned until after EU summit, No 10 confirm

Cash, who is the chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, asked that the European Council take the letter into account during today’s meeting.

“When the Prime Minister exercises her power to act for the UK at the meeting of the council scheduled for Wednesday this week, she is obliged under our law to refrain from doing anything that would frustrate the intention of parliament that the UK must leave the EU with or without a withdrawal agreement,” Cash wrote.

Currently the UK is due to leave the EU with or without a deal on Friday.