THE European Commission’s president has said a short extension beyond the current Friday April 12 Brexit deadline will not be possible unless Britain’s parliament takes indicates a new way forward.
Jean-Claude Juncker said today (Wednesday) that the current draft Withdrawal Agreement was the best way forward for Britain and the EU.
Juncker’s comments follow a vote in Parliament today which saw Speaker John Bercow vote no to break a 310-310 tie on whether to go ahead with another round of indicative votes on Monday.
It comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May held talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on a possible way forward for Brexit in Parliament. May also discussed options with cabinet ministers yesterday (Tuesday).
Juncker said: “If the House of Commons does not adopt a stance by April 12 then no extension will be possible.
“It would run the risk of the correct running of the European elections and the functioning of the EU.”
Juncker added a no-deal outcome was more likely but the EU was willing to be flexible on the Political Declaration drawn up alongside the Withdrawal Agreement.
Si le Royaume-Uni est en mesure d’approuver l’accord de retrait avec une majorité viable d’ici au 12 avril, alors l’Union européenne devrait accepter une prorogation jusqu’au 22 mai.
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) April 3, 2019
The Political Declaration sketches out what the future relationship between Britain and the EU may look like.
Britain’s Prime Minister and opposition leader are currently holding talks to find a way out of the current Brexit impasse.
The talks are reportedly set to cover remaining in a customs union with the EU or the single market, immigration and workers’ rights.
May said she was reaching across the Commons to try and find a way out of the Brexit deadlock. Corbyn welcomed her willingness to compromise.
I’ve agreed to meet Theresa May to ensure a disastrous No Deal outcome is prevented, and so Labour can give security and certainty to the people of this country. pic.twitter.com/Brw7n8olWd
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April 2, 2019
Their talks come as Chris Heaton-Harris, a minister with the Department for Exiting the European Union, resigned today.
He claimed May’s decision to take a no-deal Brexit off the table had made his job “irrelevant”.
After much contemplation, I have decided to leave Theresa May’s Government. I’m grateful to the PM for giving me the opportunity to serve the UK and I will continue to represent my constituents as the MP for Daventry. pic.twitter.com/sHkVhwJ7bb
— Chris Heaton-Harris (@chhcalling) April 3, 2019