Brexit Update: May Requests Extension of the Deadline

 In Brexit

Theresa May has officially requested the EU to extend the Brexit deadline until June 30th. Earlier today she sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk in which she explained, that the road to a deal will not be an easy one. You can read the letter here.

The main reason for the complications she is facing is the decision of Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow to forbid her to bring the deal in front of the Parliament again without changing it.

May has asked the EU for additional assurances regarding the Backstop. She hopes these additional assurances will change the deal enough for her to be able to have the Parliament take another vote. She said she is confident Parliament will ratify the agreement then.

Many EU leaders have already stipulated that May would have to be clear about what she would use the extension for, and the question is if the current letter is clear enough.

The website Politico writes:

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday said that EU27 leaders would be unlikely to reach a decision on the U.K.’s request this week, potentially requiring an additional summit just before the March 29 deadline. A note circulated in the College of Commissioners also urged that the 27 leaders offer the U.K. a simple, binary choice.


In their deliberations, EU leaders must also take account of the U.K.’s legal right, confirmed by a decision of the European Court of Justice, to unilaterally withdraw the notification of its intention to leave the EU. Such a move, regardless of any extension agreement, could cause havoc for the institutions.

Read the full story here.

Euractiv writes about a response from Juncker:

Mina Andreeva, a spokesperson for Juncker, tweeted that the Commission boss had warned May against an extension beyond 23 May. Across the EU, European elections will be held between 23 and 26 May.

“Brexit has to be complete before 23 May – otherwise EU elections have to be held in the UK,” Andreeva quoted her boss as saying.

Downing Street officials revealed that after sending her letter, the prime minister phoned Juncker to update him on the latest developments and consulted him on how to address the European Council on Thursday.

You can read the full article here.

And Reuters reports on strong language from France:

France threatened to reject British Prime Minister Theresa May’s request for a three-month delay to Brexit on Wednesday unless she can guarantee to get her departure plans though parliament, potentially sending Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Read the whole story here.

More interesting reading material on this below:

The Guardian: May’s way, the highway or … a Brexit delay? The view from Europe

CNN: Theresa May asks the EU for a short delay to Brexit

Euronews: European Council to weigh up Brexit delay as UK requests short extension

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