Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
World
Home / World / Europe

EU leaders agree Brexit delay plan

Updated: 2019-03-22 03:07
[Photo/VCG]

BRUSSELS - Britain could leave the European Union without a Brexit deal on April 12 if lawmakers fail next week to back Prime Minister Theresa May's agreement with Brussels, EU leaders said after a crisis summit in Brussels on Thursday.

With just a week to go until Britain risks lurching out into legal limbo at midnight (2300 GMT) next Friday, EU leaders gave May an extra two months, until May 22, to leave if she wins next week's vote in parliament. But she failed to convince the other 27 that she would succeed, prompting a frantic seven hours of talks to find a way to get Britain out without seeming to push.

The conclusion was a deal that suggested that Britain could, if May fails, come back and ask for a much longer delay. But this would be on the condition -- likely a major stumbling block -- that it takes part in elections to the new EU parliament on May 23. For it to do so, British election law says that would have to be announced six weeks beforehand, by April 12.

If it does not call an EU election, Britain will be out.

"The European Council agrees to an extension until 22 May 2019, provided the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons next week," the statement said.

"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." 

"Until that date (April 12), all options will remain open and the cliff-edge date will be delayed. The UK government will still have a choice between a deal, no deal, a long extension or revoking Article 50," European Council President Donald Tusk told a news conference.

"The 12th of April is a key date in terms of the UK deciding whether to hold European Parliament elections. If it has not decided to do so by then, the option of long extension will automatically become impossible."

May welcomes Brexit delay, says parliament now has clear choice

British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for a two-day summit of European Union leaders on March 21, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. [Photo/VCG]

Theresa May on Friday welcomed the European Union's decision to delay Brexit, saying that lawmakers in the British parliament now had clear choices about what to do next.

"I hope we can all agree, we are now at the moment of decision," May told reporters following a meeting of EU leaders.

Reuters

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Top
BACK TO THE TOP
English
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349
FOLLOW US