Brexit Update: EU Grants May a Six Month Extension

 In Brexit

After hours of deliberating the EU27 yesterday evening granted May a six month extension to Brexit. The new Brexit date is October 31th. A No Deal Brexit on April 12 has been avoided. For now.

What the EU and the UK Agreed on

The EU allows for an extension to allow for the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement currently on the table. It is up to May to get Parliament to agree to this deal. If the EU and the UK both agree on a withdrawal agreement before October 31st, Brexit will be on the first day of the following month. The extension can’t be used to start negotiations about the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

The Current Deal is the Only Deal

The concluding document of yesterday’s summit states:

The European Council reiterates that there can be no opening of the Withdrawal Agreement, and that any unilateral commitment, statement or other act should be compatible with the letter and the spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement and must not hamper its implementation.

and

…if the position of the United Kingdom were to evolve, the
European Council is prepared to reconsider the Political Declaration on the future relationship
in accordance with the positions and principles stated in its guidelines and statements,
including as regards the territorial scope of the future relationship.

The Show Must Go on

The UK will remain a Member State of the EU, and will have to fulfill all the obligations of a Member State. This means that the UK will also participate in the upcoming European elections. The UK is also still allowed to revoke Brexit at any time. The conclusion document also specifically addresses the fact that the UK should not hamper other procedures or decisions during the extension. They should act and behave as a Member State that is about to leave.

Further Reading on the Extension

The Guardian: Theresa May agrees to October Brexit as Tusk warns UK: ‘don’t waste this time’
The Sun: MAY’S NIGHTMARE Brexit delayed AGAIN until Halloween in humiliation for May – will we EVER leave?
The Independent: Brexit: EU leaders agree delay until end of October as May blames MPs for stopping UK departure

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