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Yes but what the UK have been trying to do is to finesse the legal situation by requesting an extension only until May 22nd. as the elections have to be held from May 23rd. onwards.

But this rather ignores the point that the elections have to be organised from April 12th. as candidates need time to be nominated and run their campaigns. So what the UK is effectively saying is that they guarantee to be gone by May 22nd. to avoid a legal problem with the election.

But this rather ignores the fact that these things never run to plan and that more time is likely to be required to negotiate, agree, and ratify a deal. So the UK is trying to pre-empt and pre-judge the outcome of the negotiations by saying they will be finished by May 22nd. one way or the other.

But if this all goes pearshaped, the UK will have "de facto" left the EU even if no "de jure" deal has been agreed - throwing the whole process into a legal mess and discrediting the EU - which is, above all, predicated on a legal order. The Brexiteers would love that - throwing some sand in the EU's eyes.

So why should the EU buy into this? EU citizens have a right to stand in and vote in EP elections and this involves doing stuff from April 12th. onwards. So my argument is that any extension beyond April 12th. must include participation in EP elections.

Call this the "price" of an extension, or call it whatever you like, the outcome and consequence is the same. The EU desires an "orderly" Brexit, and this does not include disrupting the EP elections and interfering in the rights of EU citizens while they are still EU citizens.

More magical thinking on the part of the UK, I agree.

Interestingly, Corbyn has said he has no strong view on this one way or the other. He doesn't want to attract Brexiteer ire by insisting on elections (which BoJo says will cost £109 Million) but will be quite happy to comply if the EU insists on them.

Negotiations are also about putting facts on the ground. Not holding the elections implies Remaining is simply not an option. Holding the elections forces a delay and means Remain is still very much a live possibility.

The elections would also likely result in a complete humiliation for the Tory party. My guess is they would poll under 20%.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 at 10:50:08 AM EST
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