Brexit Update: May asks EU for another extension

 In Brexit

Today May has asked the EU for another extension. In the letter to Donald Tusk, she writes:

I am writing therefore to inform the European Council that the United Kingdom is seeking a further extension to the period provided under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union, including as applied by Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty. The United Kingdom proposes that this period should end on 30 June 2019. If the parties are able to ratify before this date, the Government proposes that the period should be terminated early.

Read the full letter here.

First Date for May and Corbyn

For the first time since the Brexit referendum May and Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, have met for a serious talk about a compromise earlier this week. She needs to talk to the opposition about compromising, but without changing the deal that is currently on the table. That is what she promised Tusk in her letter. She has asked for more time to get the current deal approved.

12 Month Extension?

Tusks indicated he prefers a longer extension. 12 months if needed. If the British Parliament agrees on a deal sooner, the extension can end sooner: a Flextension.

Responses from around Europe:

The Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš — one of the leaders who will decide next week whether to grant the extension — welcomed the move. “No deal is no good for anybody,” he told POLITICO, “I still hope for an orderly Brexit and I remain open even for a longer extension, but it cannot happen without UK participation in European Parliament elections. In that sense, I welcome Theresa May’s constructive approach on this issue.”

Read more here.

Macron said on Wednesday:

“A long extension involving the participation of the UK in European elections and European institutions is far from evident and certainly not to be taken for granted.

“Our priority shall be the good functioning of the EU and the single market. The EU cannot be the hostage to the solution to a political crisis in the UK.”

Read more here.

Dutch Prime Ministers Mark Rutte:

“Theresa May’s letter raises many questions, which need to be discussed,” Rutte told reporters. “We hope for more clarity from London before next Wednesday.”

Rutte said he held out hope that talks between the May’s Conservatives and the opposition Labour party to try to agree on a cross-party approach to Brexit could give more clarity about the way forward.

“We need to give the British parliament and government the maximum chance in the run-up to Wednesday to make clear how they would want to use an extension”, Rutte said.

Read more here.

What’s Next?

Will there be another extension? And if so, for how long? And on what terms?
This will be the subject of the European Council that Tusk has called for April 10. The leaders of the 27 EU member states will then discuss and vote on the extension request.

We will keep you posted.

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