EU member countries give nod to a delayed Brexit provided Westminster approves the Withdrawal Agreement by the next week
The European Council President, Donald Tusk, on Thursday, announced the “unanimous” decision of remaining EU countries to an extension for Brexit. Until now, the UK was scheduled to leave European Union on 29 March 2019. The decision for extension came in a response to the British Prime Minister, Therasa May’s request for an extension to Article 50. A move largely perceived as an attempt to bargain time for Westminster.
After a marathon ‘Special Meeting’ of the European Council, the council specified the conclusions adopted by the member countries during the meeting in an official statement. According to the statement, the nod to extension comes with conditions that clarify that the UK House of Commons needs to approve the Withdrawal Agreement by the end of next week to buy an extension till 22 May 2019. In case London fails to approve the agreement by next week, the Brexit could only be delayed till 12 April 2019. Putting the onus on Westminster, EU statement specifies, “If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the House of Commons next week, the European Council agrees to an extension until 12 April 2019 and expects the United Kingdom to indicate a way forward before this date for consideration by the European Council.”
Making the decision clear, Donald Tusk tweeted: “EU27 responds to UK requests in a positive spirit and: agrees to Art. 50 extension until 22 May if Withdrawal Agreement approved next week; if not agreed next week then extension until 12 April; approves ‘Strasbourg Agreement’; continues no-deal preparations.”
The European Council further restated that there is no looking back over the Withdrawal Agreement drafted during the negotiations in November 2018.
The French President, Emmanuel Macron also interacted with the media after the European Council meeting and remarked that the Union will act to protect its interest. He said, “The EU in a very clear manner has today responded to a British political crisis. The British politicians are incapable to put in place what their people have demanded. Their people voted for Brexit.”
After the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, survived the biggest parliamentary defeat in the history of Britain’s democratic era over the withdrawal agreement, the exit process is looming under clouds. The withdrawal deal has been voted down twice with a hefty majority by British MPs in the House of Commons.
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