The European Union has agreed to the UK request for a Brexit deadline extension but set no new exact date, offering to Westminster sufficient time to decide on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal for a snap election. (Image above: Michel Barnier, archive)
“There was full agreement on the need for an extension,” an EU official said after ambassadors discussed postponing the deadline, less than a week before the agreed date of October 31.
“Work will continue over the weekend” and the envoys will meet again in Brussels on October 28-29, the civil servant said.
The meeting on debriefing for the EU member-states on the latest developments of Brexit talks has been delayed to 1500 GMT on October 16 from 1200 GMT, European diplomats said, commenting on state of affairs between Brussels and London on sealing a deal for orderly Brexit was postponed on, Reuters news agency reports.
Later the reports of further delay were posted on Twitter, indicating 17 CET as planned time for the meeting.(Image above; Michel Barnier, archive)
European Union top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured) said that the UK has yet to provide “legal and operational” proposals that could lead out of Brexit deadlock.
“We are still ready to work on any new legal and operational proposal from the UK,” Barnier said. He aslo added Tweet to his micro blog, underlining that there is a need of legally operative solution in the Withdrawal Agreement to address the problems created by Brexit on island of Ireland. He aslo added that the EU27 are firmly united. Barnier underlined importance of avoiding hard border, protection of Good Friday Agreement, all-island economy & integrity of Single Market.
Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Tanaiste Simon Coveney, said “significant gaps” remain between the two sides.
However, he added that Barnier and his team are “available 24/7 to negotiate to try and get a deal done”.
Image: Berlaymont building, European Commission
The European Parliament continues to support an “orderly Brexit” based on the already negotiated Withdrawal Agreement (WA), MEPs reaffirmed in the resolution adopted on September 18 during Strasbourg Plenary with 544 votes in favour, 126 against and 38 abstentions.
In the resolution the MEPs pledge to reject any Withdrawal Agreement without a backstop; in case of “no deal” consider the UK solely responsible for the consequences of the a haphazard departure.
“The consequences of a #Brexit are not theoretical. They are human, social, political, financial, economic and legal. Leaving without a deal will not solve these questions. We will pursue the #Brexit negotiations with responsibility, honesty and determination” said the EU Brexit top negotiator Michel Barnier, while concluding the debate in Strasbourg Plenary.
The MEPs approve of another conditional Article 50 deadline extension upon the UK request.
According to the Resolution the Withdrawal Agreement is fair, balanced and provides legal certainty, reiterating Parliament’s support for an “orderly Brexit”.
The document also underlines that the existing Withdrawal Agreement takes into account the UK’s red lines and the EU’s principles, providing a fair and balanced solution.
On September 18 (Wednesday) the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will discuss the current state of play of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
The discussion will focus on the implications of no-deal Brexit and the conditions under which the Parliament would support a third extension of Article 50.
MEPs will vote on a resolution supporting Brexit extention on the same issue later in the afternoon.
The Europarliament Motion for the Resolution “indicates that it would support an extension of the period provided for in Article 50 if there are reasons and a purpose for such an extension (such as to avoid a ‘no-deal exit’, to hold a general election or a referendum, to revoke Article 50, or to approve a withdrawal agreement) and that the work and functioning of the EU institutions are not adversely affected”.
Ursula von der Leyen, the future president of the European Commission expressed readiness to build “good working relation” with newly elected by Conservatives British Prime minister Boris Johnson. During her visit to Paris she sad that is hopeful to reach an outcome good for both sides of the Channel, however she did not mention the word “Brexit”, talking in more general terms about “challenging times”.
Michel Barnier (picutred) the EU top Brexit negociator wrote his Twitter micro blog that he is looking forward to working constructively with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to “facilitate the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement” he also expressed intention to achieve an “orderly Brexit“. (Image: archive).
“We are ready also to rework the agreed Declaration on a new partnership in line with EUCO guidelines”, he added.
European Union leaders clashed over future EU institutions top jobs, primary of powerful position of the European Commission president, promising to meet a deadline for appointments at June Summit (20-21/6).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced resistance when French President Emmanuel Macron publicly rejected the Bavarian politician Manfred Weber, her preferred candidate, a center-right (European People’s Party) Member of the European Parliament.
After the EU elections the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the center-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D) would no longer be able to form a majority in the European Parliament to determine the next Commission head.
The EPP are have to turn for support to the liberal Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), or/and the Greens, since three groups assembly needed to approve any nomination by the 28 heads of states.
The national government leaders agreed to finalize their nominations at end semester Summit on June 20-21, well ahead Jean-Claude Juncker mandate expiration at the end of October.
Among leading figures to heir the job of Jean-Claude Juncker, next to Manfred Weber, three oher names were announced by the President Macron: Dutch Socialist Frans Timmermans, Danish Liberal Margrethe Vestager,and the EU top Brexit negociator Michel Barnier, “and others”.
At Informal Summit in Brussels the EU leaders bargained behind closed doors, but by the end of the meeting the Council president Donald Tusk announced that there is a target of assigning half of top jobs to women.