22 August 2019

Brexit delayed? PM May requests three-month extension, EU pushes back: Page 2 of 2

EU PUSHES BACK

The EU said any extension should either be until May 23, the date of the European Parliament elections, or at least until the end of the year, which would require Britain to take part in those elections. May said it was not in Britain’s interests to take part in European elections.

“Any extension offered to the United Kingdom should either last until 23 May 2019 or should be significantly longer and require European elections,” the EU document said.

“This is the only way of protecting the functioning of the EU institutions and their ability to take decisions.”

The document also said the EU should offer Britain just one extension as multiple delays would leave the bloc in limbo.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had warned May against requesting a Brexit delay beyond the European elections, unless Britain takes part, an EU spokeswoman said.

While the United Kingdom remains divided over Brexit, most agree it will shape the economic future of generations to come and, if it goes badly, could undermine the West and threaten London’s position as the dominant global financial capital.

The loss of Britain for the EU is the biggest blow yet to more than 60 years of effort to forge European unity after two world wars, though the 27 other members of the bloc have shown surprising unity during the tortuous negotiations.

Britain’s Brexit crisis has left allies and investors puzzled by a country that for decades seemed a confident pillar of Western economic and political stability.

EU leaders are expected to discuss May’s request for a Brexit delay at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

Juncker said earlier the EU had done much to accommodate Britain and could go no further.

“There will be no renegotiations, no new negotiations, no additional guarantees in addition to those already given,” he told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “We have intensively moved towards Britain, there can be no more.”[mr/reuters]

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