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”.