Sterling trims gains as May set to argue for Brexit delay

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"Importantly, a long extension would provide more certainty and predictability by removing the threat of constantly shifting cliff-edge dates", Tusk wrote.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, are expected on Tuesday to join ongoing talks between Labour and the government as they attempt to thrash out a compromise that both sides can support.

Roth's statement was seconded by both Dutch and French officials, who said May must present a clear reason as to why the European Union should accept a further delay, and a plan for going forward.

"There aren't any scheduled talks yet but I have no doubt things will develop today", he added.

The ministers discussed the bloc's conditions for any long delay, which include Britain holding European Parliament elections in May and committing to "sincere cooperation", or not undermining the EU's important reforms and institutions should it stay a member for longer.

If EU leaders refuse to grant an extension when they meet in Brussels on Wednesday, Britain faces a chaotic "no-deal" departure from the bloc on Friday.

Seibert would not further comment on the German government's position regarding May's Friday proposal to delay Brexit until June 30 to avoid crashing out without a deal at the end of this week.

The EU has continually said it will not re-open the withdrawal agreement for negotiations, but Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom has renewed her plea for it to look at it again.

The EU will demand Theresa May accepts a Brexit delay of at least nine months when she arrives in Brussels tomorrow evening, with leaders arguing there was "little reason to believe" any exit agreement can emerge from the chaos of Westminster before the summer.

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European Council president Donald Tusk has suggested offering the United Kingdom a "flexible" extension to Brexit of up to a year, with the option of leaving earlier if a deal is ratified.

BuzzFeed News said it had seen a memo that is due to be discussed by European Union 27 ambassadors and officials before Wednesday's summit which sets out two proposals for leaders to consider.

The Irish commissioner was still hoping the ongoing cross-party talks between Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn could yield a result.

Meanwhile in London, talks will continue between Tory and Labour politicians with Labour pushing for a customs union, which the Tories oppose.

"The prime minister's deal ... has a lot of the very positive attributes that anyone would want in a relationship where we can trade freely with the European Union".

If Britain's exit is delayed beyond May 22, the EU has said it will have to take part in European Parliament elections.

The vote was passed in the House of Commons on Tuesday, with 420 lawmakers backing the government motion and 110 voting against.

If a cross-party deal can not be reached, MPs are expected to vote on a series of Brexit options proposed by the government in the near future.

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