1 . SOUNDBITE (English) Theresa May, UK Prime Minister:
"Nearly three years have passed since the public voted to leave the European Union. It was the biggest democratic exercise in our country's history. I came to office on a promise to deliver on that verdict. In March 2017 I triggered the Article 50 process for the UK to exit the EU and Parliament supported it overwhelmingly. Two years on MP's (Members of Parliament) have been unable to agree on a way to implement the UK's withdrawal as a result we will now not leave on time with a deal on the 29th March. This delay is a matter of great personal regret for me. And of this I am absolutely sure you the public have had enough. You're tired of the infighting. You're tired of the political games and the arcane procedural rules. Tired of MPs talking about nothing else but Brexit. When you have real concerns about our children's schools, our National Health Service, knife crime. You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side. It is now time for MP's to decide so today I have written to Donald Tusk the president of the European Council to request a short extension of Article 50 up to the 30th of June to give MP's the time to make a final choice. Do they want to leave the EU with a deal which delivers on the result of the referendum, that takes back control of our money borders and laws while protecting jobs and our national security? Do they want to leave without a deal? Or do they not want to leave at all causing potentially irreparable damage to public trust not just in this generation of politicians but to our entire democratic process? It is high time we made a decision."
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she has "great personal regret" that the U.K. won't leave European Union with a deal next week and it's time for her country's lawmakers to decide what they want to do about Brexit.
In an address to the nation late Wednesday, May outlined three choices she said remain for Parliament: approving her deal with the EU, going forward with a no-deal Brexit on March 29 or not leaving the EU.
May asked the EU on Wednesday to postpone the U.K.'s departure until June 30. She says she will not allow a much longer delay while she is leading the British government.
The leaders of the remaining member countries could consider her request at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.
European Commission President Donald Tusk, the summit's host, said Wednesday a short extension is possible on the condition that Parliament approves the Brexit deal it has rejected twice.