Theresa May, the UK’s embattled prime minister who is spending most of what remains of her political capital on steering her country through the ongoing quagmire of Brexit negotiations, has made her intentions for moving forward clear to the European Union and has thus succeeded in being granted an early exit clause to the six-month Brexit extension.
The EU-27 agreed to delay Brexit until 31 October in the early hours of 11 April. The UK accepted the agreement, but pushed for an early exit clause as pro-Brexit supporters want to leave the EU “as soon as possible.”
May has reiterated her support on the Withdrawal Agreement that has voted for three times in the House of Commons. According to May, if the MPs back her Brexit deal, the UK can still leave before 30 June, the date she submitted to the EU prior to Wednesday’s extraordinary Brexit Summit.
“The choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear,” said May, who also suggested that the UK must now “press on with our efforts to reach a consensus on a deal that is in the national interest”.
The prime minister is due to make a statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, while further talks will also take place between the British government and the opposition Labour Party, “to seek a way forward”. According to a UK official, Thursday’s talks will stick to a technical level between the two sides.
“I do not pretend that the next few weeks will be easy or that there is a simple way to break the deadlock in Parliament,” May said while reiterating that it is the duty of the UK’s politicians to find a way to deliver Brexit. “Nothing is more pressing or more vital”.
Macron says new extension is “the best possible compromise”
French president Emmanuel Macron said the last-ditch six-month extension is the “best possible compromise” to protect the rest of the EU.
Macron was the main holdout among EU leaders at an emergency summit in Brussels against a longer extension, but by accepting the 31 October date he signalled that he eventually opted to back the proposal “to preserve the unity” of the EU-27 and to give Britain “more time to deliver a deal” that would prevent chaos in trade and travel when it leaves the EU.
“It’s now up to Britons to be clear with themselves and their people about whether they want to participate in the European Parliament elections next month, even though they would have to abandon the legislature a few months later,” said Macron.