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Brexit delay: How the EU is hardening its battle lines against Article 50 extension

Theresa May held last ditch talks ahead of the Brexit vote but was ultimately defeated in the Commons

As Parliament considers whether to vote to extend Article 50 there are clear signs that the battle lines are hardening over any request for an extension.

In recent days there has been a chorus of warnings from key EU figures warning that any British request for an extension of the two-year negotiating period must come with a “credible” plan for next steps.

Donald Tusk, the European Council president, said the EU wants a “reasoned” request for an extension, while Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament brexit co-ordinator, said there must be a “clear opinion” from the House of Commons on what it wants.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, was even blunter, saying the UK needs to show a…

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