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 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.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meeting is planned soon, a spokesman for the German government said on August 16, he added that details would be announced later.
Previously the were reports that the German Chancellor will “stick to the line” that the so called “backstop” of Irish border can’t be removed, and the Withdrawal Agreement can’t be changed according to a Finance Ministry paper.
The European Commission is preparing a multibillion pound aid package for Ireland to offset the economic damage of a no-deal Brexit, The Times newspaper reported.
The EU would “spend whatever was necessary” to support the government of the Republic of Ireland through any disruption of trade, The Times said, citing a senior EU diplomat.
The report did not specify the exact the amount of the aid package. Britain is currently due to leave the European Union on October 31.
The majority of the European Union governments will approve another Brexit delay regardless of who becomes the next British prime minister, ‘The Times’ newspaper reported on June 6 citing an unnamed senior European source.
As many as 25 European governments are prepared to give the Britons another extension, despite repeated statements from most British prime minister candidates that the UK will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, the newspaper added.
“In the end no one wants to be seen as the one who pulls the plug,” the source told ‘The Times’.
The EU and UK were working “very hard together” on Brexit deal, President Trump, acknowledged and added: “It doesn’t seem to be working out. But, at some point, something will happen, one way or the other.”
“President Juncker followed Prime Minister Theresa May‘s announcement this morning –without personal joy. He will respect and establish working relations with any new Prime Minister, whomever they may be – without stopping his conversations with Theresa May“, said the European Commission spokesperson, while announcing the reaction on the resignation during midday briefing for Brussels press corps.
The top EU negotiator Michel Barnier expressed his “full respect” to Theresa May for her determination to achieve orderly Brexit.
The resignation was announced in Prime Minister emotional statement, pointing out that she profoundly regrets failure to reach Brexit deal compromise, leading to orderly departure from the EU.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s final attempt to save has failed after her offer of a vote on a second referendum and closer trading arrangements could not win over either opposition lawmakers or members of in her own party.
May proposed the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and a package of trading arrangements with the EU as incentives to what she called the only way to guarantee orderly departure scenario.
However she position did not receive warm welcome in Westminster, lawmakers both Conservative and Labour opposed Withdrawal Agreement Bill legislation which frames the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc.
Leading Labour Jeremy Corbyn made clear his party would not be backing the Withdrawal Bill and described May’s government as “too weak, too divided to get this country out of the mess that they have created”.
British Prime minister Theresa May asked for further delay of Brexit deadline to June 30, meaning the EU is facing a dilemma of the admittance of the UK in participation in the upcoming European elections (end May 2019). The prolongation beyond April 11 also indicates that Britons will imperatively participate in the European elections as the EU Treaty stipulates.
The European politicians have already expressed concerns about further delay negatives effects, which could lead to “hijacking” of the elections by Brexit crisis, creating a protracted situation of instability. An extension beyond delay, given already, could be granted on condition of endorsement of the Brexit deal only, previously the EU executives underlined. They have been cultivating an opinion within the EU institution, that any further delay without a clear purpose and schedule is not conducive to European agenda, blocking many significant developments within the EU27.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on that Prime Minister Theresa May had not moved far enough in a first round of crisis talks intended to achieve a breakthrough in the domestic deadlock over endorsement of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement to avoid disorderly exit from the European Union. (Image above: illustration).
“There hasn’t been as much change as I expected,” Corbyn said, according to British media reports. “The meeting was useful but inconclusive”
“No deal was never our desired nor intended scenario. No deal was never my intended scenario, but the EU 27 is now prepared. It becomes day after day more likely,” Michel Barnier, the EU Brexit top negotiator said addressing the even in the European Policy Centre Brussels think-tank. (Image above: illustration).
“Let’s not forget first that we have already an agreement, we have already a deal, and it was concluded by Theresa May and the British government and the European Council and European Parliament on November 25 last year, four months ago,” he said, putting the blame for the Brexit crisis on Westminster.
“If the UK parliament does not vote in favour of the withdrawal agreement in the coming days, then only two options would remain: leaving without an agreement or requesting a longer extension of the Article 50 period,” Barnier, reiterated the position of the EU institutions. “It would be the responsibility of the UK government to choose between these two options.”
Long extension would mean a participation in the European elections, and entering next political cycle withing the EU.