BBC News’ Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg quizzed Prime Minister Theresa May to know if she was “embarrassed” to be asking the EU for a Brexit extension as she arrived in Brussels on Wednesday. Theresa May arrived at the EU summit to ask for a Brexit extension until the end of June to try to deliver Britain’s exit from the bloc. But, BBC News’ Political Editor asked the Prime Minister a brutal first question as she arrived for the crucial meeting.
Kuenssberg said: “Having promised the public so many times that we would leave on time. Are you embarrassed to be asking for another delay?”
Theresa May replied: “First of all I am here with fellow leaders with the request I have put in for a short extension of Article 50.
“I know many people will be frustrated that the summit is taking place at all because the UK should have left the EU by now.
“I greatly regret the fact that Parliament has not been able to pass a deal that would enable us to leave in a smooth and orderly way.”
She added: “But, I and the Government continue to work to find a way forward.
“We have been talking with the opposition and there has been serious constructive talks. They will continue tomorrow.
“The purpose of this summit is to agree to an extension which gives us more time to agree to a deal to enable us to leave the EU in that smooth and orderly way.
“What matters I think is that I have asked for an extension to June 30, but what is important is that any extension enables us to leave at the point of which we ratify the withdrawal agreement.
“So we could leave on the 22 May and start to build our brighter future.”
Last Friday the Prime Minister wrote to the President of the European Council asking for an extension to the Article 50 process until June 30.
European Council president Donald Tusk warned, “neither side should be allowed to feel humiliated at any stage in this difficult process”.
Mr Tusk originally called for a “flexible extension” lasting “as long as necessary and no longer than one year”.
On Tuesday the Prime Minister met with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss a Brexit extension.
The unanimous agreement of all 27 EU states is needed to avoid a no deal Brexit on at 11pm on Friday.