Theresa May, U.K. prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party, listens during a campaign event in Twickenham, London, U.K.(Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Pro-Brexit U.K. Ministers Are Plotting to Prevent a Long Delay

(Bloomberg) -- Pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers are meeting to plan their strategy for stopping Theresa May agreeing to a long delay to Brexit that would involve the U.K. taking part in European Parliament elections.

The meeting is taking place on Tuesday evening in London in an effort to shape what the prime minister asks the European Union to agree to, people familiar with the matter said.

May will travel to Brussels on Thursday for a summit of EU leaders, and is expected to write a letter to the bloc first, asking them to extend the Brexit deadline beyond March 29. The U.K. government is weighing up whether to ask for a long delay of as much as a year or more, or a shorter one, the people said.

Pro-Brexit Tories hate the idea of a long delay because it would mean the U.K. has to take part in European Parliament elections in May. That would be seen as a failure to deliver Brexit, potentially unleashing a wave of anti-government euroskepticism which could split the ruling Conservative party and bring down the government, one of the people said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.