European Union leaders have granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit, until October 31, after five hours of talks in Brussels.
Despite French President’s Emmanuel Macron’s reluctance to give the UK a long Brexit extension, the EU leaders have agreed the apparently interminable process can be delayed until October 31, with a school report on Britain’s behavior in June.
This newly announced deal comes at the right time as a potential crisis was about to hit British leaders, them having failed to reach any agreements over the plan of exiting the EU.
“I know that there is a huge frustration from many people that I had to request this extension,” May said in a news conference. “The U.K. should have left the EU by now and I sincerely regret the fact that I have not been able to persuade parliament to approve the deal.”British Prime Minister Theresa May again called on Parliament to approve her Brexit deal.
Emmanuel Macron had a firm stance on the Brexit extension
French President Emmanuel Macron called the six-month extension “the best possible compromise” with other EU leaders who were prepared to give the U.K. a year to work out its Brexit plan. Macron favored a shorter deadline fearing potential negative effects of the U.K. staying in the bloc before its exit.
Macron considers that Europe has bigger projects to attend to, during this renaissance phase, and those cannot be compromised or blocked by the Brexit situation.
Elections for the European Parliament are scheduled for next month. Macron said the British have to decide whether to participate in the elections with an eye toward soon leaving the EU.
European Council President Donald Tusk has advised the UK not to waste this precious time that they’ve been given and decide on the details of its planned departure from the EU.
Theresa May, who had wanted a shorter delay, said the UK would still aim to leave the EU as soon as possible. May declared that “The UK should have left the EU by now and I sincerely regret the fact that I have not yet been able to persuade Parliament to approve a deal.”
The UK must now hold European elections in May, or leave on 1 June without a deal.Former Brexit Secretary David Davis told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There’s been no progress whatsoever, really.”
He added that it was still “difficult to see how” Mrs May could get her deal with the EU through Parliament and said: “The pressure on her to go will increase dramatically now, I suspect.”
Mr Tusk said that the course of the events depend only on the UK and that the moment they reach a withdrawal agreement, the extension can be ended.
Tusk also said the UK could rethink its position and actually choose to cancel the Brexit.
Tusk said the UK could also rethink its strategy or choose to “cancel Brexit altogether”.
The PM said that the UK “will continue to hold full membership rights and obligations [of the EU]” during the delay.“