The EU Postpones Brexit until May 22 if the London Government Approves the Divorce Deal
All 27 state and government leaders of the remaining EU member states have unanimously decided to postpone the release date of the UK on the basis of two possible scenarios. This was announced by European Council President Donald Tusk after the end of the first day of the summit in Brussels, Reuters and TASS reported.
"Brexit will be postponed until May 22, provided that the British Parliament approves the exit agreement by the end of March or until April 12 if the agreement is not approved," Tusk said.
"So, until April 12, all options remain open and the fateful date will be delayed." The UK government will still have a choice between (leaving) an agreement, no agreement, a long extension or a waiver of Article 50 (from Brexit) " , said the President of the European Council at the midnight press conference after the summit.
Neither Tusk nor EU commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker could answer the question of how long the "long delay" could last. "To the very end," Juncker said after a long pause, causing a laugh in the room.
By April 12, London has to decide whether to hold the European Parliament elections in the country scheduled for late May. If the decision is not to hold these elections, then the long delay option automatically becomes impossible, Tusk stressed.
Until that date, London must inform the European Council "how to see further moves ahead".
Britain has adopted EU scenarios according to which the date of exit of the kingdom from the union is being transferred to April 12 or May 22, depending on the parliamentary approval of the Brexit agreement, Tusk pointed out. "I met with Prime Minister May several times this evening to convince the UK that we accept our postponement scenarios, and I'm glad to tell you that we agreed, she accepted them," he added.
In a final document from the leaders' meeting last night, they urged them to continue preparations for emergency measures in the event of an exit from the UK without an agreement. A new extraordinary summit "can be summoned at any moment" to take further decisions on Brexit.
The European Union is prepared for all scenarios around Brexit, but hopes for an organized UK exit from the EU, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the end of the first day of the EU summit in Brussels.
"It was a fair and important discussion and we are prepared for all the scenarios," she said. Whatever options they have, "they must be acceptable to people in Europe," Merkel said. "We wanted to support Teresa May in her pursuit, and I think we have shown this," the Chancellor added.
"Now we will, of course, watch the search for a solution in the British Parliament," Merkel said.
French President Emmanuel Macron was sharper. "The British politicians are incapable of comprehending what the people want from them." The people voted for Brexit, and now we have a situation where the British Parliament says it will not vote for a negotiated two-year deal and vote against everyone (option to leave the EU) without agreement ... This is a real political and democratic crisis, "he said.
This is a "British crisis" and Europeans "should not be blocked in such a situation," the French president underlined. Now the British have to eliminate the ambiguities they have created. We do not have such. We gave them clear dates, "Macron said.
"We have shifted the date (for Brexit) from March 29 to April 12. This is the deadline when the British can go ahead with the election of the European Parliament and the date of May 22 was chosen so as not to leave any precariousness and no risk for the European elections to be held on May 23-26, "explained the French president.
He noted that he has approved the continuation of negotiations with London because he thinks it is important "to help Prime Minister Theresa May to win the possible third vote" of the draft agreement with the EU. According to him, the EU leaders' final meeting has allowed a crisis to be avoided next week that would "go under worse conditions" and could only confirm that the deadline is 29 March.
The British Prime Minister does not think it is right for Britain to take part in the European Parliament elections scheduled for the end of May. She herself announced this at the press conference after the summit of EU leaders in Brussels last night.
"I am firmly convinced that it would be wrong to ask people in the UK to take part in these elections for three years after they voted to leave the EU," May said.
She also spoke against the idea of canceling Brexit, which is gaining popularity in the UK. "I do not think we have to cancel the procedure under Article 50," she said, referring again to the decision taken by the people of the referendum.
But the prime minister pledged to make every effort to secure a postponed Brexit with an agreement.
From the Brussels Tribune, May again turned to the British deputies and pointed out that now it is up to them to end the period of uncertainty that has covered the country because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. "Today's decision (of the Euroleans) underlines the importance of the House of Commons approving the deal for Brexit next week so we can put an end to this uncertainty and leave the EU in an organized and smooth manner," she said.
May noted that the EU has given legal assurances that the implementation of the so-called security mechanism for the border with Ireland will be of a temporary nature and added that she has coordinated these guarantees with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week.
"This should give Parliament more assurance that in this unlikely case when the safeguard mechanism will be used it will only be temporary and that the UK and the EU will immediately begin work on replacing the Alternative Agreements mechanism by the end of December 2020 . ", the prime minister said.
She thanked those MPs who supported the agreement and urged those who did not support it to look "truth in the eye" before the third decisive vote expected next week.
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