THE leaders of EU member states have agreed to delay Brexit until October 31 following a summit in Brussels which began yesterday (Wednesday).
The EU has said that Britain will have totake part in next month’s European Parliament elections. It would leave without a deal on June 1 if it does not, according to the terms of the agreement.
British Prime Minister Theresa May had initially sought a shorter extension until June 30. EU officials including European Council president Donald Tusk originally floated an extension of a year to allow time for lawmakers in Westminster to reach agreement on a withdrawal deal.
May said Britain would still aim to leave the bloc as quickly as possible.
“I do not pretend the next few weeks will be easy, or that there is a simple way to break the deadlock in Parliament.
“But we have a duty as politicians to find a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward,” the prime minister said.
— EU Council (@EUCouncil) April 11, 2019
Tusk said his message to Britain was that no time should be wasted in finding a way out of the Brexit impasse.
“The course of action will be entirely in Britain’s hands. They can still ratify the withdrawal agreement, in which case the extension will be terminated,” the European Council president said.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the leaders of the EU27 were using all their political will to ensure there would not be a ‘messy’ Brexit.
It was now up to MPs in the British Parliament to find a solution and the EU had to wait and see how events played out, Sanchez added.
Britain will still be required to comply with the terms of EU membership while it remains a member of the bloc.