Thursday, 25 April, 2019

EU Leaders, British PM Agree To Extend Brexit Deadline Until October 31

Donald Tusk and Theresa May at the start of the summit meeting Donald Tusk and Theresa May at the start of the summit meeting
Jeannette Daniel | 15 April, 2019, 15:30

Prime Minister Theresa May said after the announcement: "I know that there is huge frustration from many people that I had to request this extension".

Like many things the extension was a compromise.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday faced tough questioning from lawmakers about the latest Brexit developments, including a call to resign, after she returned from Brussels with a new Brexit extension.

"He says that the competition will deliver" a rebirth of busy Euroscepticism", pushed by Britons' anger at the failure to leave the EU.

European Union and British flags flutter in front of the chancellery ahead of a visit of British Prime Minister Theresa May in Berlin, Germany, April 9, 2019.

Talks between the Government and Labour to find a compromise way forward on Brexit will continue at official level on Thursday.

According to Sky, the email said: "In common with the rest of government we have stood down our no-deal operational planning with immediate effect".

Britain has the option of leaving before that if May succeeds in getting a withdrawal agreement ratified by Parliament.

With German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisting Britain would not be forced out and a chaotic no-deal departure must be avoided if possible, there was never any real doubt that Mrs May would get an extension. However, it will be hard for the Brexiteer faction of the Conservatives to push May out before October because, after the failed oust attempt in December, the Prime Minister is immune to a new challenge from within her party until next December.

Several days of talks have failed to produce a breakthrough. Still, the negotiations are set to continue.

Mr Tusk said the delay gave time for London to ratify Mrs May's deal, tweak elements of the future EU-British relationship to Labour's liking - or give it a chance to "cancel Brexit".

May and Merkel share a laugh over matching outfits

The six-month extension to October 31 was a compromise thrashed out by European Union leaders after French President Emmanuel Macron dug in against a longer delay lasting into 2020.

"The pressure on her to go will increase dramatically, I suspect, now".

Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, urged Mrs May to use the extra time to hold a second European Union referendum.

The ink was not yet dry on European Union leaders' deal to give Britain a hard-fought, second delay to Brexit until November when some diplomats and officials in the bloc grudgingly conceded: This may well not be the last extension.

It comes as the Prime Minister was granted a further short extension to the Brexit process by EU27 leaders at an emergency summit in Brussels on Wednesday. Frontrunners include Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his predecessor Boris Johnson, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.

All choices out of a Brexit to a general election without a Brexit remain on the desk.

What does 31 October mean?

In what could be seen as bid to reclaim the mantle of EU leadership, he alluded to France's role in launching the European integration project after World War Two - without mentioning President Charles De Gaulle's veto of Britain's accession in 1963. "But then we will have had six more months to prepare for that", Rutte told Reuters on Thursday.

Leading Tory Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised the latest delay after the United Kingdom was originally scheduled to quit the bloc on March 29 and said there is "some symbolism" in the new Halloween Brexit date.

With one Brexit day gone and another following, the Government has lost control of the timetable. On 1 April, a plan for any Brexit deal to be put to a referendum only fell 12 votes short of a majority. The proposal is backed by many in Labour and other opposition parties, plus some of May's Conservatives.

More news: Rishabh Pant left out of India squad

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