The leaders of the European Union have agreed on Thursday to offer the United Kingdom to delay the Brexit at least until April 12, although next week the British Parliament will knock down for the third time the exit agreement negotiated during the last two years between London and Brussels. .
“The European Union to 27 has unanimously agreed to its response to the request of the United Kingdom,” the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, announced on Twitter after about six hours of meeting.
May formally asked by letter to his still European partners to delay the departure from the UK from March 29 to June 30, with the promise of a new vote on the agreement to leave next week, and win it.
He also said he did not contemplate convening the European elections in May, which in practice has limited the timetable for the extension.
Finally, the formula that the leaders have agreed and that Tusk has moved to May contemplates an extension until May 22 in case next week the House of Commons approves the Retreat Treaty that it has already rejected on two occasions.
However, the proposal designed by the 27 also offers an extension without conditions, although shorter, “until April 12”, in the event that the British Parliament does not support the divorce pact.
Within the framework of this hypothesis, the bloc “expects the United Kingdom to indicate the way forward before this date, for the Council to study it.” The reason for marking this deadline is that April 12 is also the last day on which the United Kingdom can call elections to the European Parliament, which is obliged to convene if for the date of its holding (from 23 to 26 May) it is still being a member state.
LACK OF CLARITY
The bloc was initially open to grant a short extension, considered a “technical” one, to ensure that the United Kingdom had time to prepare its exit in an orderly manner, and always conditioned on the approval of Westminster to the divorce agreement, which the EU considers non-negotiable.
However, after discussing for 90 minutes with May about their plans, the leaders concluded Thursday that their proposal lacks clarity and they have “pessimistically” confiscated the British’s “evasions” on how they planned to face the possible scenario of a failure. in the attempts to save the agreement, as indicated by different diplomatic sources.
May has clung to that only contemplates the ‘plan A’ that the House of Commons adopts the exit agreement and, therefore, has not wanted to address other hypotheses.
“It does not have a ‘plan B’, so it is not possible for leaders to maintain a structured discussion, they have to discuss it now,” European sources told Europa Press, explaining that different proposals on how to articulate coexist at the last hour of Thursday. the extension.