EUROPE’S chief Brexit negotiator has asked why Brussels should allow Britain to delay its exit from the EU.

MPs are due to vote on extending the Article 50 process today, but even if there is a majority in the Commons for adding more time to negotiations, it can only happen if the European Parliament and all 27 EU member states agree.

But speaking in the European Parliament, Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier questioned why Brussels should offer an extension.

“Prolong this negotiation, to do what?” Barnier asked MEPs. “The negotiation on Article 50 is over. We have a treaty. It is here.”

It’s not yet clear what exactly MPs will vote on tonight, and if it will detail length of any extension.

According to reports, German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is broadly in favour of a three-month extension until the end of June which would be relatively straightforward.

This would take it past European elections at the end of May but before new MEPs take up their position in July. Any longer would likely need elections for British MEPs. He said the EU had “gone as far as we could”.

“I am asked: Are you disappointed? My answer, our answer is: We remain respectful of the UK, we remain determined calm and united and we will remain calm, respectful and united until the end of this extraordinary negotiation,” Barnier said.

Barnier added: “It will be up to the United Kingdom government to tell us how to proceed, we hope in a positive way so they can eventually have a constructive majority on a proposal”.

He added: “What will their choices be? What will the clear line be that they take.

“That is the clear question we need an answer to now. That is the question that has to be answered before a decision on a possible further extension.”

Nigel Farage, who has close connections to Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s right-wing Lega Nord party, who serves as deputy prime minister in the country’s coalition administrations, urged those with the power of veto to prevent Brexit being delayed.

Speaking in the European Parliament, he warned fellow MPs that failure to kick Britain out of the EU on March 29 do so would see him return to Brussels with “hordes of Eurosceptics”.

“I heard Mr Barnier this morning say if this treaty gets passed, the next phase of negotiations could last to up to four years. I thought, ‘enough.’

“We don’t want to waste another four years of our life, four more years of agony, and you don’t want to waste another four years.

“There is a simple solution and that is that the British request to extend is vetoed at that European Summit.

“We leave on March 29.”

“Most of the preparations have been done. Even if there are a few, short-term bumps in the road we leave and both you and we can get on with the rest of our lives,” he added.

Speaking in the same debate, Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, said he too was against a long extension, as it would be “hijacked” by Farage.

“An extension, why we go beyond European elections and the European elections will be hijacked by the Brexiteers and by the whole Brexit issue.

“We will talk only about that and not about the real problems and the real reforms we need in the European Union. The other thing we will do is we will give a new mandate to Mr Farage. That is the only thing we are going to do.

“That is exactly what he wants. Why he wants that? For two reasons, first of all, he can continue to have a salary that he can transfer to his offshore company.

“And the second thing is that he can continue to do his dirty work in the European Union which is to try to destroy the European Union from within, that is the real purpose.”

According to a leaked memo obtained by Buzzfeed, the EU will only offer an extension for one of three reasons: to prepare for no deal, to complete ratification of May’s deal or if the UK holds an election or a referendum.