Theresa May has insisted that it is “within our grasp” for Britain to leave the EU with a deal on March 29, as she resisted pressure for an extension to the two-year negotiation process.
European Council president Donald Tusk revealed that he had discussed the legal and procedural process for extending withdrawal talks under Article 50 with the Prime Minister when he met her on Sunday in Egypt.
Mr Tusk said that he believes delaying the UK’s withdrawal beyond March 29 is now a “rational solution”, warning that the only alternative, if MPs cannot agree a deal, is “a chaotic Brexit”.
Despite facing pressure from pro-Europe Tories for delay, the Prime Minister said: “It’s within our grasp to leave with a deal on March 29 and that’s where all of my energies are going to be focused.”
Speaking at a press conference at the end of the EU/League of Arab States summit in Sharm el Sheikh, she dismissed calls for delay.
“An extension to Article 50, a delay in this process, doesn’t deliver a decision in Parliament, it doesn’t deliver a deal,” she said.
“All it does is precisely what the word ‘delay’ says.
“Any extension of Article 50 isn’t addressing the issues.
“We have it within our grasp.
“I’ve had a real sense from the meetings I’ve had here and the conversations I’ve had in recent days that we can achieve that deal.”