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21st March 2019, 23:48

European Council offers conditional Article 50 extension

The European Council has offered Prime Minister Theresa May an Article 50 extension till 22 May if MPs approve her deal next week.

However if Mrs May fails to secure the backing of the House of Commons, the extension will only be valid until 12 April, at which point the UK will be expected to indicate what its plans are for the way forward.

The Council's position was revealed on Thursday night following several hours of talks, during which the Prime Minister failed to secure an extension until 30 June, as she had intended.

If the unlikely event that the UK agrees to take part in European elections, the EU could agree to push the extension back till the end of the year.

Chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, said Europe had done all it can, and that the decision was now for London.

Speaking on Thursday night, the Prime Minister said she would be working hard to try and push the deal through and ensure the UK left the EU with a deal.

Letter from UK confirming its agreement with European Council decision on Article 50 extension