Dutch PM says UK 'doesn't answer' Brexit delay questions

The Dutch PM is asking for 'more clarity' (AFP Photo/JULIEN WARNAND)

The Hague (AFP) - British Prime Minister Theresa May's request to delay Brexit until June 30 "doesn't answer" the EU's key questions about London's plans, Dutch premier Mark Rutte said on Friday.

Rutte said May's letter seeking the extension "raises many questions" and there will have to be "intense discussions" ahead of a crucial summit of European leaders next Wednesday that will decide on the issue.

"The plan was that the British would explain what they wanted from the EU," Rutte told a weekly press conference.

"A letter was sent today which, as far as I am concerned, doesn't answer this request (from the EU for more information). I hope it will be possible to give the answers to these questions."

Rutte -- who has been one of the most outspoken EU leaders on Brexit as his country faces the risk of an econmic shock if Britain leaves without a deal -- said the letter had "no full plan, there was only part of a plan."

"We hope London will provide more clarity before Wednesday," he said, adding that there would now have to be "intense discussions on the telephone in coming days, and at the European Council (summit)."

"The ball is not here in The Netherlands, or in Paris or Berlin. The ball really is in London."

His comments echoed those of France, which said the British request was "premature" and a "clumsy trial balloon", and Germany, whose foreign minister said "many questions" remained.