UK PM May says any Article 50 extension reopens the Brexit negotiations

File photo of British PM Theresa May. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters London, UK Nov 29, 2018, 06.26 PM (IST)

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday that any decision to extend the Brexit negotiating period would reopen the exit deal she has agreed with the European Union, and that she would not seek any extension.

"What is clear is that any extension to Article 50, anything like that, reopens the negotiations, reopens the deal and at that point, the deal could go, frankly, in any direction," May told a parliamentary committee.

She added "what has been reinforced" by the negotiations is that the view of the European Union can be changed with a "rigorous" and "robust" defence.

The European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told Britain on Thursday the Brexit deal the bloc agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May was the only one possible.

Barnier was speaking to a nearly-empty EU parliament chamber as the bloc awaits the verdict from London where May is trying to sell the deal to her divided parliament, which will vote on it on Dec. 11. The EU insists the Brexit accord sealed after 18 months of talks will not be renegotiated.

"Given the difficult circumstances of this negotiation and given the extreme complexity of all the issues of the British withdrawal, the deal that is on the table ... this deal is the only one and the best possible," Barnier said.

"Now is the time for ratification," he said.

Story highlights

Theresa May added 'what has been reinforced ' by the negotiations is that the view of the European Union can be changed with a rigorous and robust defence.