BRUSSELS – A humiliated, even humbled British Prime Minister Theresa May came to Brussels on Thursday not to dictate the terms of her country's exit from the European Union, but to request a delay – to ask for terms and conditions to extend his departure ,
Before the meeting of E.U. Leader – a nail biter who was expected to start in the afternoon and reach late into the Belgian Belgian night – the attitude seemed to harden against the British leader. Even some E.U. Anglophiles, who once hoped Britain would change its mind and stay in the Union, snapped the sooner the door slammed on British membership, the better.
It was clear that Britain has not regained control of Europe as Hardline's proponent of the planned Brexit. May did not appear exactly as a petitioner, but as less than equal.
May wrote a letter Wednesday requesting that the UK departure date be postponed until the end of June to seize the extra time to divorce. The Europeans, whose confidence is finally coming to an end, want them to close the deal before they get a delay and possibly leave a final decision until Britain leaves on 29 March.
Arriving at what may possibly be her last meeting As a member of the European Union, May announced that she had been there to deliver the Brexit.
"This delay is a matter of personal regret for me," she told reporters standing in the glass entrance to the summit building, where Britain stands Union Jack may soon be knocked out of the ranks of the 28 EU groups flags of members. "But a short extension would give Parliament the time to make a final decision that determines the outcome of the referendum."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the EU leaders would likely approve May's request for a three-month extension as long as the UK Parliament approves the divorce settlement.
"Basically, we can live up to that wish when we get a positive vote on the withdrawal documents next week in the British Parliament," Merkel told the German legislator before leaving for Brussels.
It has not been said what will happen if the withdrawal agreement does not clear Parliament – a real possibility, since it has already twice been defeated with historical margins. That would almost certainly force an emergency summit at the end of next week.
In London, May's allies said the prime minister was under "extraordinary pressure." Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt told the BBC: "No prime minister has tested their living memory in their own way." [ Can Brexit be stopped? 800,000 people are making so much of an effort to ruin Parliament's website. ]
EU policy makers have little understanding of May, they are fed up with Britain and they want it to go, they no longer hope for a second referendum in the UK that could reverse the decision of Brexit, but prefer
"We do not want Brexit in the coming months, in the years to come," said Brexit European Parliament coordinator Guy Verhofstadt, who posted wistful videos on Twitter which called on British people to give up Brexit. "We want to be busy with the renewal of the European Union," he said or the meeting to the reporters.
The Europeans are well aware that the Brexit chaos is being driven by members of May's own conservative party. She did not manage to win over her own cabinet, which she now daily confronts. She loses control or loses control of the process. That makes her nervous.
The Europeans hope that the British Prime Minister will request a much longer extension and declare that he will hold elections for the European Parliament in May. So far, she has excluded her from her fear of tough Hardline Brexit supporters within her own conservative party.
Before the summit, European diplomats were unusually open about their dark fears in the coming days. Many worried that the economic tornado triggered by a sudden withdrawal of the British could hurt citizens across Europe. They expected that they would also be charged.
"My missing response to my mother or friends:" Why did you contribute to this mess? Why did you do that? Why did not you do something about it? "Said an elderly E.U. Diplomat speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the planning before the meetings. "If this is the scenario, it's the bitterest experience."
Diplomats were worried about the hours of meetings, which sometimes can be confrontational. At meetings with other E.U. Leader, May sticks to their talks. They see them as focused on obtaining their party and their position. They once felt sympathy, but they have reduced the reserves.
May quickly has no options left at home – the prime minister and lawmakers are now blaming each other for the chaos.
On Wednesday evening, May appeared on the desk in Downing Street 10, to speak directly to him the public. She claimed that the legislature had blocked Brexit. "They are tired of arguing," said the Prime Minister. "They are tired of the political games and the arcane process series."
May said, "I'm on your side."
Legislators in all parties shouted that it was May that had abused Brexit – and that was your own Conservative party and 75 Hardline Brexiters who blocked the passage of their exit business.
Some saw a threat in May's message "We versus Parliament" – and there was no way to convince critics from the middle of the street to swing behind their deal.
The morning after the May speech, Commons spokesman John Bercow told parliament, "None of you is a traitor."
"Every Member of Parliament's only duty is to do what he or she thinks is right," he said.
Wes Streeting, a Labor Party worker, said he could exasperate MPs Some of them are already receiving death threats.
Streeting called May's speech "brutal and irresponsible." If any of us suffer harm, they must take their share of the responsibility. "
A Downing Street spokeswoman told reporters that they rejected the allegations that May's statement endangered lawmakers "flat-rate."
But lawmakers said the rhetoric harmed May's cause.
"According to that statement, she has absolutely no chance of adequately supporting MPs Lisa Nandy, another Labor MP, the ITV broadcaster, said, "It was an attack on liberal democracy itself … I will not support a government that followed such a ruthless, dangerous approach. "
A Conservative MP, Sam Gyimah, told the BBC that May's new approach was" a big blow. "He said he would not be blackmailed until May and that the Deal is still bad.
Members of the 48 percent of people who voted in the Brexit referendum in June 2016 to stay in the European Union became increasingly nervous about what could happen in the coming days.
An online public petition site called in May to cancel Brexit attracted more than half a million signatures within a few hours – and then crashed. The petition website of the British Parliament went down on Thursday morning due to heavy traffic.
Booth reported from London. Karla Adam in London and Quentin Ariès in Brussels contributed to this report.