Theresa May has written to Donald Tusk to ask for Brexit to be delayed until 30 June while she battles to win cross-party agreement on a way forward.
Rather than the year-long flexible extension to article 50 recommended by the European council president, the prime minister suggested 30 June as the new departure date, but with an option to leave earlier if the necessary legislation has been passed.
That is the same date requested by the government last month but rejected by EU leaders in Brussels. Unless a new date is signed off at an emergency EU summit on Wednesday, Britain is due to leave without a deal on 12 April.
In the letter, drafted after a second day of talks with Labour, May said both parties accepted the need to pass the legally binding withdrawal agreement but had not reached consensus on the future relationship.
If that was not possible, May said, she hoped to agree with Labour a process for parliament to choose between possible options, the outcome of which both sides would promise to accept.
That could allow parliament to ratify the deal, pass the necessary legislation and leave before 22 May, meaning the UK would avoid participating in European parliament elections, the prime minister added.