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MEY ASKS, EU OFFERS 05. 04. 2019.   >>  18:23 0


12 month flexible delay for Brexit

Theresa May has written to the European Union to request a further delay to Brexit until 30 June.

The UK is currently due to leave the EU on 12 April and, as yet, no withdrawal deal has been approved by MPs.

The prime minister has proposed that if UK MPs approve a deal in time, the UK should be able to leave before European Parliamentary elections on 23 May.

But she said the UK would prepare to field candidates in those elections in case no agreement is reached.

In the meantime, European Council president Donald Tusk raised the idea of long, flexible delay.

Britain can have another year to think on Brexit — provided it joins the European Parliament election next month, a senior EU official said.

“The only reasonable way out would be a long but flexible extension," the senior official quoted Tusk as saying. "I would call it a 'flextension.' How would it work in practice? We could give the U.K. a yearlong extension, automatically terminated once the Withdrawal Agreement has been accepted and ratified by the House of Commons.

"And even if this were not possible," the official continued, quoting Tusk, "then the U.K. would still have enough time to rethink its Brexit strategy. Short extension if possible and a long one if necessary. It seems to be a good scenario for both sides, as it gives the U.K. all the necessary flexibility, while avoiding the need to meet every few weeks to further discuss Brexit extensions.”

It is still unclear whether all EU27 leaders will go along with Tusk's "flextension" proposal without resistance, though it's unlikely he would float the idea without some confidence. Still, French President Emmanuel Macron, in particular, has raised concerns about the U.K.'s departure process becoming a neverending drag on the EU and distracting the bloc from getting on with its regular business.

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