Published: Thu, April 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

EU Gives UK More Time For Brexit Plan

EU Gives UK More Time For Brexit Plan

Prime Minister Theresa May and the other 27 EU leaders "have agreed a flexible extension until 31 October", European Council president Donald Tusk said in a tweet.

BRUSSELS: France´s President Emmanuel Macron took a hard line Wednesday against a long delay to Brexit, as Prime Minister Theresa May lobbied European Union leaders for more time to arrange an orderly divorce.

But Macron's push for a June Brexit and strong opposition to other leaders' preference for a much longer extension that might increase the chances of Britain changing its mind to stay in the bloc meant the meeting ended up with the October compromise.

May, who had sought a delay only until June 30, agreed to the later date.

French President Emmanuel Macron was less receptive, saying an extension can not be guaranteed without Britain's assurance not to disrupt the EU.

Seeking support from European heavyweights Tuesday, May flew to Berlin and Paris to plead for good terms with Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been taking a tough stance ahead of the Brussels summit.

However, following the announcement of the extension, Mr Macintosh said a recall was no longer necessary.

On Wednesday evening, EU ministers took part in a Special European Council in Brussels and made a decision to give the United Kingdom a flexible Brexit extension until 31 October.

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But British lawmakers have rejected her divorce deal three times, and attempts to forge a compromise with her political opponents have yet to bear fruit.

As at a summit last month, which put back Brexit for two weeks, several European Union diplomats said May failed to persuade her peers that she could definitely break the paralysis of repeated failures to ratify the treaty within the coming months.

"I think we will come to a conclusion that will not fail due to a disagreement between Germany and France", she said. "So we must now press on at pace with our efforts to reach consensus on a deal that is in the national interest", she said, adding that she would not pretend that the next few weeks "will be easy or there is a simple way to break the deadlock in parliament".

Despite the new agreement, May's future is uncertain.

But she insisted Britain could still secure a deal and leave before Britons would have to vote in a May 23-26 election to the European Parliament - a condition for the country to remain a member of the bloc beyond June 1 under the EU's accord.

Many Conservative Party legislators prefer that May resign now and allow a new leader take charge of Brexit.

Every British initiative to get a deal has floundered.

For it is surely her Brexit to own. "And of course a lot of people, maybe even half the population, don't want to leave at all", he said.

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