European Council President Donald Tusk has stated he’ll attraction to EU leaders “to be open to an extended extension” of the Brexit deadline, if the UK must rethink its technique and get consensus.
His intervention got here as UK MPs voted to hunt a delay of the 29 March deadline to depart the EU.
EU leaders meet in Brussels on 21 March and they might have the ultimate say.
Prime Minister Theresa Might has stated that if her Brexit deal isn’t authorised an extended extension could also be mandatory.
After two resounding defeats within the Home of Commons, she’s going to make one other try by 20 March to push by her Withdrawal Settlement with the EU.
MPs backed a authorities movement on Thursday to increase the two-year deadline to 30 June if the Mrs Might’s deal is handed subsequent week, whereas noting longer extension could be mandatory whether it is rejected.
All 27 different EU nations must comply with an extension, and Mr Tusk, who’s the bloc’s summit chairman, will maintain talks with a number of leaders forward of subsequent week’s Brussels assembly.
Whereas European Fee President Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted that any postponement “needs to be full earlier than the European elections” on the finish of Might, Mr Tusk made clear an extended delay was on the playing cards.
Whereas he didn’t specify the size of the delay, officers advised it must be not less than a 12 months if the UK prime minister’s deal was rejected a 3rd time.
Mr Tusk stated earlier this 12 months that the EU’s hearts have been nonetheless open to the UK if it modified its thoughts about Brexit. He provoked an indignant response from pro-Brexit supporters when he stated there was a “particular place in hell” for individuals who had promoted Brexit “with out even a sketch of a plan of the right way to carry it out safely”.
So at this significant level, what do Europe’s leaders take into consideration extending Article 50, the two-year treaty provision that the UK invoked on 29 March 2017?
Germany dropping religion however eager to assist
Jenny Hill in Berlin
“Numerous the belief is gone.” Amongst enterprise and political figures in Berlin, there’s rising frustration, even anger, at developments in Britain.
Nonetheless, Germany is prone to do all it could possibly to assist facilitate the orderly Brexit which Angela Merkel insists continues to be potential.
The German chancellor will not be drawn publicly on whether or not she would assist an extension to Article 50, however it’s broadly accepted right here that she and her authorities could be prepared achieve this.
There are those that imagine that assist needs to be conditional upon Britain’s skill to stipulate its causes and expectations earlier than such an extension is granted. And there are vital issues in regards to the impression of an extended extension upon the EU elections however Germany’s pursuits lie in avoiding a no-deal Brexit – and the injury that might wreak on the German financial system.
Its authorities will do what it could possibly to attain that intention.
Dr Norbert Roettgen, who chairs the overseas affairs committee, urged Britain and the EU to take their time.
“Every little thing is hectic, hysterical, unclear. Let’s decelerate and attempt to get a transparent head,” he stated. “The world won’t finish if all of us take time for a breather, give attention to vital factors.”
“If we attempt to rush a end result now it’ll undoubtedly go flawed.”
France will demand robust situations
Hugh Schofield in Paris
As a “frontline” nation which successfully shares a border with the UK – due to the Channel Tunnel – France has extra to concern than most from a no-deal Brexit.
But in terms of granting London extra time, President Emmanuel Macron is anticipated to insist on situations.
He won’t approve an extension if it merely means pushing aside the ache.
A “technical” extension of some weeks could be a straightforward matter, based on Elvire Fabry of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris.
Even when the Home of Commons had authorised Theresa Might’s plan on Tuesday, such an extension would most likely have been inevitable, and mechanically authorised on the EU summit subsequent week.
“However an extended extension poses all types of issues. No-one is comfy with the concept of the UK participating within the EU elections in Might. It might be a most unwelcome distraction,” Ms Fabry stated.
“So for an extended extension there must be a really clear and exact goal written in – for instance new elections within the UK or a brand new referendum.”
She stated that Brussels “was fairly beneficial” to the concept – however in the previous couple of days issues had modified.
“No-one over right here is saying, ‘let’s simply get it over with and have a No Deal.’ That fatigue appears to be gaining floor within the UK, however not in Europe.”
“Right here everyone seems to be exhausted and impatient – however we really feel there may be nothing rather more we are able to do. It is the Brits who must type this out amongst themselves.”
Poland says something however No Deal
Adam Easton in Warsaw
“The British individuals have determined the UK ought to depart, it needs to be concluded. In any other case it might be a humiliation.”
That is how one MEP from the governing get together, Ryszard Legutko, put it, including: “A second referendum or too lengthy an extension would even be a humiliation”.
High officers are a bit extra mild.
Poland’s overseas minister, Jacek Czaputowicz, has stated the UK might have a bit extra time.
“We’re watching what is occurring within the UK – the votes, there are particular expectations about how they’ll finish. Possibly we might want to… lengthen this era a bit, possibly a bit extra time is required for reflection,” he instructed reporters within the Polish parliament.
“From our standpoint a no-deal Brexit is the worst answer.”
For Warsaw, securing the rights of the estimated a million Poles dwelling within the UK has at all times been and stays the primary precedence, and the 2 governments are in “fixed contact”.
However Poland is hoping for a deal and a easy transition interval. That is as a result of the UK is Poland’s third-largest gross sales market.
Netherlands waits and hopes for the very best
Anna Holligan in Rotterdam
Dutch Overseas Minister Stef Blok has instructed the BBC his nation would look “with benevolence” at any request to increase Article 50. However “with no clear aim an extension will not clear up something”, he warned.
The mantra “hope for the very best, put together for the worst” underpins the Dutch method, and Mr Blok was at an occasion showcasing the federal government’s preparations for a no-deal exit.
“I am wanting ahead to any answer that can clear up the issue, however that has to return from London now.”
The Dutch by no means needed the UK to depart the EU however revered its selection. Now they view any potential extension a bit like tearing off a sticking plaster. Ideally it needs to be completed quickly to get the ache over with.
“We’re dwelling within the actuality Brexit has dealt us”, says overseas commerce minister Sigrid Kaag, gesturing in the direction of a stream of vehicles trundling on to a ferry certain for the UK port of Felixstowe.
“(The Netherlands) is your pure gateway to Europe. With a secure authorities. We’re not sitting idle, we’re not panicking, we’re preparing for any eventuality.”
Italy says: ‘Inform us what you need’
James Reynolds in Rome
Italy would assist an extension of Article 50 on two situations:
- If the UK explains precisely what it desires
- If the UK says precisely how lengthy it desires to increase for
Italy believes that the UK authorities is real when it says it does not need No Deal, a senior Italian official, who requested to not be named, instructed the BBC.
However, on the identical time, Italy isn’t shy about making ready for No Deal. Within the subsequent few days, the federal government is hoping to move a bundle of legal guidelines geared toward addressing its priorities : residents’ rights, monetary stability, assist for companies.
Subsequent week, the Rome authorities expects to roll out a collection of data classes in ports across the nation to clarify how No Deal would work.