A senior European Union official is floating the possibility of a two-step delay to Britain’s departure from the bloc, currently scheduled for March 29.

Britain is expected to seek a short delay if lawmakers finally pass a twice-rejected EU withdrawal deal, or a longer one if they don’t.

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told Germany’s Funke newspaper group in comments published Saturday that Britain must know why it needs a delay. He added that “as long as this isn’t clear, Brexit can only be delayed for a few weeks, solely to avoid a chaotic withdrawal March 29.”

FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 file photo the flag of the European Union and the British national flag are flown on poles during a demonstration by remain in the EU outside spporters the Palace of Westminster in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 file photo the flag of the European Union and the British national flag are flown on poles during a demonstration by remain in the EU outside spporters the Palace of Westminster in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Timmermans said: “During this time, the British must tell us what they want: new elections? A new referendum? Only after that can we talk about a several-month extension.”

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 file photo European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker prepares to shake hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May before their meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)
FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 file photo European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker prepares to shake hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May before their meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)
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