Tue Apr 9th, 2019 at 09:25:41 PM EST
LARGE UPDATE BELOW: EU Agrees extension until Oct. 30
President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, urged EU leaders to offer a much longer extension. Tusk said the UK should be given up to a year to get Brexit sorted, claiming there was little chance of arrangements being made by 30 June. A draft EU Council document suggested such proposals were being drawn up. Labour has said it will back any "reasonable" delay beyond 30 June.
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EU's Tusk argues for longer Brexit extension | DW |
In a letter to EU leaders on Tuesday, European Council President Donald Tusk pushed for a longer extension for Brexit than the June 30 deadline the UK government has asked for. Tusk said he was doubtful that the British government would find a deal it could agree to by then.
"Our experience so far, as well as the deep divisions within the House of Commons, give us little reason to believe that the ratification process can be completed by the end of June," he wrote, adding that the bloc should avoid "a rolling series of short extensions and emergency summits, creating new cliff-edge dates."
Tusk stressed that a no-deal Brexit should be avoided at all costs, considering the disastrous effects it could have on both parties economically, and on peoples' lives.
EU rejects Theresa May's bid for short delay to Brexit | The Guardian |
Theresa May's request for a short Brexit delay has been torn up, putting the EU on track to instead extend Britain's membership until the end of the year.
Despite the prime minister's desperate dash to Paris and Berlin, to convince leaders of her plan to break the Brexit impasse, the European council president Donald Tusk signalled the lack of faith in EU capitals with her cross-party talks.
Against a backdrop of growing support among the EU27 for a lengthy Brexit delay, probably until 31 December, Tusk picked apart May's appeal for a shorter delay to 30 June in a letter to the leaders inviting them to Wednesday's summit.
In light of the development, a cabinet source voiced doubts over whether May could survive after presiding over such a long delay to Brexit, after previously having said she could not "as prime minister" accept a longer delay than 30 June.
The source said some in No 10 now accept it is nearly game over and described all options as very difficult for the prime minister, raising questions about whether she can keep her warring party together much longer.
[Update-1] The day after the night of the EU summit of the 27 states …
The EU’s new October extension finishes off May and her deal | The Guarddian Opinion – Tim Kibasi |
Britain will remain in the EU until the end of October this year, but diminished in power and status, with a review of its conduct set for the end of June. It is the marital equivalent of being sent to sleep in the spare bedroom, if not quite the garden shed.
Wednesday night’s humiliation, when 27 other nations decided our fate – a taster of Norway-plus or “common market 2.0”, where decisions are made about the UK without our presence – exposes the lies of the Brexiters and the impossibility of a strong and stable position outside the EU. History will recall that Britons did not value their power in Europe until they lost it. Theresa May, too, was humiliated once again but it does not cut deeply since she appears to feels no shame. She remains convinced she was and is right: that blame is to be found with her detractors and not with her deal or leadership.
The question that remains unanswered is: now what? Few EU leaders were convinced that the process of cross-party talks would lead to a deal that parliament could support, and rightly so. It is not in Jeremy Corbyn’s interest to rescue the Conservative party from a crisis of their own making. And for May, any deal acceptable to the Labour party would cause a perhaps permanent split in her own party, not seen since 1846 and the repeal of the corn laws.
That’s why these negotiations were never offered in good faith – if they had been, the hardline Brexiters in the cabinet would have already resigned. Cabinet ministers from Jeremy Hunt to Geoffrey Cox seem unable to hide their duplicitous intentions, all but promising that a future Tory leader would rip up any deal.
Theresa May agrees to October Brexit as Donald Tusk warns UK 'don't waste this time'
A marathon six-hour debate among the EU leaders concluded with the prime minister being offered a longer extension than she had sought but providing a new autumn no deal cliff-edge to focus minds in Westminster.
“This extension is as flexible as I expected and a little bit shorter than I expected but it is still enough to find the best possible solution”, the European council president, Donald Tusk, told a media conference that began after 2am local time. He said of the extra six months of EU membership. “Please do not waste this time”.
The EU would also hold a symbolic June summit to review the UK’s behaviour as a member state following an outspoken intervention by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, about the need to avoid a “rogue” Britain undermining the European project.
Theresa May’s previous statement: “I WIL NOT ACCEPT AN EXTENSION BEYOND JUNE 30, 2019.”
○ British MEPs will 'wreak havoc with European parliament' if EU decides on long extension, says Tory Brexiter
END OF UPDATE