The Catch-up: The EU just made Brexit even more difficult for Theresa May - here's how

What happened?

Theresa May has finally written to the EU to request a Brexit delay until June 30. She told MPs this afternoon she was only prepared to ask for a short extension, to ensure Britain does not take part in the upcoming European elections.

Simple, right?

Unfortunately, for Mrs May, no. The EU’s response has been lukewarm at best. Donald Tusk said a “short extension” to Article 50 should be possible – but insisted it would be “conditional” upon Mrs May getting MPs to vote in support of her Withdrawal Agreement. This is a huge problem for the Prime Minister who has tried – and spectacularly failed – to get MPs to vote in support of it twice already in recent weeks.

There was not much support from individual EU countries either, with senior ministers in Germany and Spain also placing conditions on any approval. The most interesting potential fly in the ointment could come from Paris, where the response has been even firmer. Shortly after May’s request, senior French officials said Mrs May must be able to guarantee a positive outcome – otherwise France will veto any extension and Britain will still crash out on March 29th. Any extension has to be approved by all 27 EU members remaining in the bloc.

What happens next?

It’s certainly the case that negotiations with Europe often go down to the last minute. Mrs May will try to get her version of the divorce deal passed by MPs at the third attempt next week. If she fails, the EU will hold all the cards as to what happens next. As for Mrs May, she continues to hang on as prime minister… for now at least.

Read more about this story
Q&A: Here’s what could happen next? (The Guardian)
Pound slides as EU resists May’s three-month (Reuters)
Theresa May hints she could quit (HuffPost)
Short Brexit delay is possible, says Tusk (PA)

A woman has called her husband ‘mad’ after he spent more than £600 in preparation for a no-deal Brexit. Juliet East took to Twitter to share a picture of the supermarket haul, which includes 144 rolls of toilet paper and more than 50 tins of food. The forward-planning husband appears to be in the minority though, judging by the result of our latest Brexit poll about stockpiling essential items. Read the full story and have your say below? Read the full story (Yahoo News UK) and have your say below:

 

Lottery winner says huge win ‘bloody will change me’

A factory worker has become one of Britain’s biggest ever lottery winners, vowing not to be “one of these winners” who say everything will stay the same. The winner of the EuroMillions £71m jackpot is Ade Goodchild, from Hereford. Mr Goodchild, 58, has already quit his job and said: “I’m not one of these winners who is going to say this win won’t change me. It bloody well will.”  Read the full story here (The Telegraph)

Kate Price to stand trial over school abuse

Katie Price is to stand trial after denying using abusive and threatening behaviour outside a school in a row with her ex-partner’s girlfriend. The media personality said she was “definitely not guilty” when she appeared at Crawley Magistrates’ Court. Price is facing two charges of using threatening and abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress in the village of Shipley, West Sussex, on 6 September. It is the third time Price has been in court this yearRead the full story here (HuffPost)

This is the hilarious moment a tiny mouse took it upon itself to tidy up a pensioner’s garden shed in the middle of the night. Stephen Mckears, 72, first noticed objects moving in his shed in Severn Beach, South Gloucs, a month ago and asked his neighbour Rodney Holbrook, 70, to help him get to the bottom of the mystery.

€8.25bn

The European Union has hit Google with a fine of €1.49bn (£1.28bn) for illegal online advertising practices. It’s the third fine the European Commission has slapped on the US technology giant since 2017 with the total now more than €8bn. The two previous fines concerned its Android mobile operating system and a shopping comparison case. Read the full story here (Reuters)