EU Leader: How About a Year-Long Brexit Delay?

Theresa May instead eyes June 30 deadline as deadlock remains
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 5, 2019 6:24 AM CDT
EU Leader: How About a Year-Long Brexit Delay?
European Council President Donald Tusk listens to questions during a media conference in Brussels on March 22, 2019.   (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Theresa May wants to delay Brexit until June 30 to avoid a crash-out in one week's time, though a key European Union leader suggested a pause of up to a year. In a Friday letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, May seeks an extension until June 30 and agrees to make contingency plans to take part in European Parliament elections in late May if necessary, per the AP. Tusk urged the 27 remaining EU nations to offer the UK a flexible extension of up to a year to make sure the nation doesn't leave the bloc in a chaotic and costly way. Two anonymous EU officials said Tusk wants a one-year "flextention" and hopes to get it approved at next Wednesday's EU summit. Such a move would require the UK to take part in the May 23 to May 26 European elections, something which May has long argued would not be in either side's interest.

Officials worry the legitimacy of European institutions could be jeopardized if the population of a member state is not involved in the process. But any extension of Brexit's current April 12 deadline will need unanimous approval from the 27 remaining EU nations. French President Emmanuel Macron has thus far seemed cautious about giving Britain more time, saying the EU cannot be held hostage by Britain's political deadlock. Britain's Parliament is now considering legislation designed to prevent a "no-deal" departure, which could lead to economic slowdown and a breakdown in food and medical supplies as border checks and tariffs are added overnight. Britain's upper House of Lords is set to resume debate on the measure Monday. It was endorsed earlier by the lower House of Commons by just one vote. (May seeks support from the opposition.)

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