Sunday, 16 June, 2019

European Union summit agrees to postpone Brexit again - Tusk

Brexit supporters march to Parliament to send message UK heading for Halloween Brexit as May agrees EU offer
Steven Clarke | 15 April, 2019, 15:30

The European Council agreed to a six-month extension of the Brexit process here early on Thursday morning, setting a new deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union on October 31, 2019, and narrowly avoiding a no-deal scenario that had been scheduled for April 12.

"We have heard voices coming from Britain that Britain wants to be a very hard partner for the others", Juncker said after the summit, alluding to prominent hardline eurosceptics in May's Conservative Party.

The contingency operations have impacted almost all departments in the civil service and elsewhere in the public sector including traffic, hospitals and schools.

But there is little sign the United Kingdom's divided and exhausted lawmakers will heed the EU's plea not to waste the six months of extra time granted to Britain at an emergency summit in Brussels.

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

To be sure, the political price Britain would have to pay for any further recess would spike, the sources said, and it is by far not a foregone conclusion that all the 27 states staying on together after Brexit would endorse another extension.

European Union rules say that any expansion to the Brexit deadline requires unanimity among the 27 other member states, and even if smaller member states would be hard to do it on their own, France has never shied away from becoming an European Union leader - at the cost of Britain.

Like many things Brexit-related, the extension was a messy compromise that left many unsatisfied.

Ndiaye said the problem has been brought up at the Elysee palace during the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, since President Emmanuel Macron was intending to go for the summit to Brussels.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has told MPs it remains her "priority" to deliver Brexit, defending the decision to delay the UK's exit from the EU.

She stressed the importance of the cross-party talks that have been taking place between ministers and their Labour counterparts, and said she hoped they could reach agreement in the coming days.

Jurgen Klopp sets target for Liverpool as title pursuit hots up
Coincidentally former captain Gerrard, who is now Rangers manager, visited Liverpool's training ground on Friday. And we didn't lose it here or there or whatever. "It's all bulls**t.

The other 27 EU leaders met without May over dinner to thrash out what European Council president Donald Tusk called "a flexible extension until 31 October".

"I know there is huge frustration from many people that I had to request this extension", she told reporters, as her team prepared for another round of talks yesterday with the Labour opposition, to whom Mrs May turned to for help last week.

Britain will be able to leave before then if its parliament finally manages to ratify the hotly-contested divorce deal May reached with the bloc and that has been behind all the political turmoil in London, with MPs unable to back it - or any alternative they themselves have come up with.

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. As such, a negotiation to get a majority of MPs behind the Brexit deal won't be easy, even if there is now more time.

Labour, which seeks to retain close economic ties with the European Union after Brexit, accuses the government of failing to offer concrete changes to its Brexit blueprint.

Talks over the past week have not made a breakthrough, though they continued on Thursday, and neither side seemed willing to abandon them yet.

That would leave the door open for a second referendum.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "In light of this week's developments, departments will make sensible decisions about the timing and pace at which some of this work is progressing given that the date we leave the European Union has changed, but we will absolutely continue to make all necessary preparations".

"Labour lawmaker Mary Creagh tweeted that Parliament should move swiftly to break the Brexit deadlock using a confirmatory ballot on PMs deal".

"It doesn't want to leave without a deal; at the moment it doesn't want to vote for the deal".

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