Theresa May announced June 30 as a new deadline for Brexit to be requested at the upcoming European Union Summit on 21-22 March in Brussels.
The leader of a recently established Brexit party, Member of European Parliament, Nigel Farage has immediately reacted on a new deadline, insisting there should not be any extension “in first place”. He also requested the guarantees that the new deadline would be respected: “why should we believe her?” Farage wrote in his Tiwtter micro blog.
AMENDED: According to President of the European Commission press-person the telephone consultation between him and Prime Minister Theresa May are ongoing.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will request a “short delay” for departure of the UK from the EU in a letter to the European Council on March 20, Sky News cited an s senior government source. The move is feared by the Leavers to become a first step in a sequence of events leading to de facto cancellation the results of the Brexit referendum.
The request of delay, almost three years since Britons voted in referendum to leave the European Union, leads to the Brexit uncertainty with options of the a sequence of delays, mounting up to next five years of negotiations to produce a meaningful and mutually acceptable Article 50 Agreement. Some experts consider the delay in reality might become open-ended, without any definite deadline to respect, but causing by obligation of the UK to participate in the upcoming European elections, and engage in the next Brussels political cycle.
In need to postpone the formal Brexit date March 29 Prime Minister May has to apply to European Council President Donald Tusk, responsible for the EU Summit preparations to present the request to the heads of states and governments of the EU member-states on 21 of March.
However the length of the delay beyond May 24 inevitably leads to the engagement of the UK in the European elections, and the next political cycle in the EU, the move that the Leavers presume will jeopardise the entire Brexit process for years to come.
There are also concerns among the European politicians about the import the Westminster political crisis to Brussels, affecting the future of the bloc. The president of the EU Council Donald Tusk indicated via his Twitter micro blog, that ‘no-deal‘ Brexit, or the break with the UK without any agreement, is still on the cards.
The European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the British Prime minister Theresa May agreed on additional legally binding declarations on the ambivalent Irish border backstop in a last-minute effort to avoid no-deal Brexit, overcoming House of Commons skepticism.
In late night talks in Strasbourg Theresa May also met with the Members of the European Parliament, who spread a work about her request on extension of the deadline of the UK departure to 24 of May.
After the talks both parties declared the Article 50 deal improved, although no one word has been changed, but the legally binding interpretations were added.
– The EU and UK agree to swiftly start talks on a new trade deal after Brexit. They stress they do not want the backstop to kick in. Should that happen, both are “determined” to agree a different way of maintaining the open Irish border to replace it.
– The sides agree to a “regular” review of their agreements on the Irish border. They say the so-called Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, an international law on legal agreements between states, is a reference in any disputes.
– Sides will use “their best endeavors” to agree a trade deal to obviate the need for the backstop by the end of 2020.
– “A systemic refusal to take into consideration adverse proposals or interests” would amount to a breach of the EU-UK agreement.
“I hope that the House of Commons will support the agreement reached by Theresa May. There is no alternative” wrote Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte in his Twitter mico blog.
The top EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier offered to Theresa May’s government a “legally binding” interpretation of the Article 50 Withdrawal Agreement, the executive explained via his Twitter micro blog.
Barnier ensures the The EU will “continue working intensively over the coming days to ensure that the UK leaves the EU with an agreement”.
The proposal includes the EU commitment to give the UK the option to exit the “Single Customs Territory unilaterally”, on the condition the other elements of the backstop “must be maintained to avoid a hard border“.
“UK will not be forced into customs union against its will“, Barnier ensures.
The arbitration panel can already, under Article 178 of Withdrawal Agreement, “give UK the right to a proportionate suspension of its obligations under the backstop, as a last resort, if EU breaches its best endeavours/good faith obligations to negotiate alternative solutions”, the EU top negotiator explains. (Image: illustration).
Prime Minister Theresa May attempts to convince the European Union to make “just one more push” to break an impasse on Article 50 deal to obtain the Westminster backing of her government’s Agreement next week, which is considered by many experts as an ultimate ‘last-minute’ fix. May also underlined that voting deal down next week, might mean the whole variety of options from Brexit delay to not leaving the bloc at all.
The EU decision-making process does not allow to re-open the negotiations process, only complementary political declarations are possible to add to the Article 50 deal. The EU executives made it clear the end last year, and repeated continuously: “that is the deal”.
Meanwhile EU Ambassadors in Brussels were summoned to a meeting on Brexit, including the no-deal scenario.
The European Union will offer Britain a long delay to Brexit because of upcoming European elections, British trade minister Liam Fox said on Sunday, March, 3.
Fox explained it was still “entirely possible” Britain leaves the bloc as foreseen on March 29 but an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period may be necessary in order to deliver a smooth exit from the bloc.
Prime Minister Theresa May said any extension should not be beyond the end of June.
However the junior justice minister Rory Stewart told Skynews that Britain is likely to be forced into delaying of the departure on March 29, if Westminster rejects May‘s deal.
“I think we would have to be forced into an extension of Article 50,” Stewart said. “There doesn’t seem to be parliamentary majority for ‘no deal’.”
“I don’t think those in Parliament who’ve sought to create an option to delay Brexit have fully thought through what they’re actually doing,” George Eustice said. He resigned on February 28 from his position as Minister for Agriculture in protest at May‘s plan to allow lawmakers to vote on delaying Brexit if her deal fails to get approval. “It would be dangerous to go to the EU ‘cap in hand’ at the 11th hour and beg for an extension” Eustice warned.
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party, leader will back a second referendum on Brexit after Westminster defeated its alternative plan for leaving the European Union, he said.
While no-deal Brexit is looming both Prime Minister Theresa May and her major opponent Jeremy Corbyn have been introducing changes to their positions, however none of them has won the hearts of the majority.
Corbyn, who initially voted against in referendum on European Community (Common Market) membership (1975), and gave only reluctant backing to campaign ‘ to remain in the EU, this week gave ‘green light’ for the second referendum.
The Brexiteers camp insists the best plan is to leave first, and to negotiate afterwards, believing “Leave means leave”.