Theresa May seeks to delay Brexit until end of June TheFT

  • Mrs. May wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk to seek what will be the second extension to the Article 50 period of negotiating a deal. The proposed period ending 30 June 2019. However, the government stressed the idea of leaving prior to the European Parliament elections on 23 May, if a deal was concluded.
  • Mr Tusk’s expressed the idea of a “flextension” — first reported by the BBC — to give the UK a 12-month flexible extension has been seen aimed at ‘finding a middle ground’ between those in the EU who are unwilling to approve a series of short Article 50 extensions and Brexiters who want to leave the EU as soon as possible.
  • Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has warned Britain not to take a long extension “for granted”, saying the EU would not accept being held hostage to a Westminster crisis. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is open to offering the UK more time, putting her at odds with Mr Macron.

Why the EU faces a tricky decision on Brexit delay TheFT

  • Senior French and EU officials are concerned about Britain sabotaging EU business by means of a long extension – the FT has suggested that the UK may need to provide assurances that it will not exercise its veto to block the EU budget or play a decisive role in deciding top jobs.
  • Other EU diplomats argue these concerns are exaggerated and that the next long term EU budget will most likely not be voted on in the next year and that other safeguards are in place to prevent potential obstructiveness by the UK.
  • The extension will be discussed and decided upon at the EU summit on 10 April, next week.