The European Union stretches the ‘brexit’ to October 31st

  • EU leaders agreed to offer the UK an extension on article 50 until 31 October, which Theresa May has accepted.
  • Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, said that until that deadline what happens will be in the hands of the UK.It can ratify the withdrawal agreement, and leave. It can change strategy, or it can decide to revoke article 50 and cancel Brexit. He says the UK will remain a friend of the EU and ended his press conference with an address to “our British friends”: “Please, do not waste this time.”
  • There will be a “review” of the situation on 30 June, but Tusk said the point of the review was to inform EU leaders what was happening and was “not a cliff edge”.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said he took responsibility for blocking a long Brexit delay and convincing other European Union leaders to agree to a shorter one, sayiing he did so “for the collective good”.
  • In a press conference after the agreement was reached, May said “the choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear”. She acknowledged the “huge frustration” that the UK had not yet left the EU.
  • May repeatedly ducked questions about her future as prime minister, after having previously said she would not accept an extension beyond June 30. She simply insisted that the UK “can still leave on May 22 and not hold those European parliamentary elections” if parliament passes the withdrawal deal.
  • The prime minister will now head back to London to give a statement in the House of Commons in the early afternoon on Thursday. Now that the threat of a no-deal exit has gone, parliament has scrapped plans to force parliament to sit on Friday and next week.
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