Brexit LIVE: Germany doubts if UK actually wants to leave EU as NO PROGRESS made

Heiko Maas said asking for another extension would show the UK secretly wants to stay in the EU. His harsh criticism comes he said the UK will also not be granted another extension past October. He said: “Another extension could send the signal that they plan to stay in the EU after all.”

Mr Maas added: “They will have to decide what they want by October.

“You cannot drag out Brexit for a decade.”

Last week, the EU gave Theresa May an extension to get Brexit over the line by October 31 with her MPs after failing to meet the original March 29 deadline.

This has left MPs furious as it means the UK will now have to stand in the upcoming European Parliament elections next month. 

European Council president Donald Tusk only accepted the extension with the promise the UK would “continue it sincere cooperation” as a member state – including taking part in the elections in May.

Mr Maas told the Financial Times it would be absurd if the Mrs May failed to get her Withdrawal Agreement through the Commons before next month.

He said: “Just think about it: You say you want to leave Europe and then you hold a European Parliament election.”

Meanwhile in the UK, Parliament is in recess for the Easter holiday.

Talks between the Government and Labour are said to be continuing to find a Brexit agreement that will be acceptable to MPs.

The EU has insisted the terms of the UK’s withdrawal, which has already been rejected three times by MPs, cannot be renegotiated.

However, there is potential to strengthen the political declaration, a document setting out the parameters of the UK’s future relations with the EU, ahead of the new Brexit deadline.


8.30am update: EU will not kick the UK out, Juncker says

Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU will never kick out a fellow member state this morning while addressing the European Parliament this morning.

The European Commission President said he and other negotiators are focusing on a positive agenda for Brexit.

He added that it was not a “working assumption” that Brexit will be extended past October 31 or that it will be reversed. 

Mr Juncker said he is preparing for a No deal Brexit, but said there is nothing to gain from the UK leaving withouth a deal.

He said: “The only people who have anything to gain are those who seek to disrupt the global legal order.”

8.21am update: No deal Brexit back on the table as PM issues warning

Mrs May has told civil servants that planning to leave the EU without a deal  “must continue”.

It comes after backlash over the Government’s decision move away from planning for the “worst-case scenario”.

The PM told Whitehall staff there needs to be “sensibly adjusted” timetable while continuing on with the “necessary preparations”.

After the PM was granted a Brexit delay last week it emerged the Government has ditched some its no deal planning “immediate effect”.

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