EU Debates New Request for Brexit Delay

The local community has been supportive about the new initiative

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"If they need a little more time, I think it's reasonable to discuss what that would be", Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said, noting that Britain still faced choices - to leave without a deal, accept the deal that its parliament has rejected three times, or change its mind and stay in the EU.

May had originally asked for a delay until June 30, but European Union leaders have already agreed one delay from March 29 to April 12, and Tusk had warned there is "little reason to believe" that MPs would ratify the Brexit deal within three months. French President Emmanuel Macron was less receptive, saying an extension can not be guaranteed without Britain's assurance not to disrupt the EU. He said in his open letter Tuesday night that a delay to 30 June wouldn't give May enough time to ratify the deal in parliament.

European Union leaders, tired of the Brexit melodrama and divided over how long a delay to grant, met for more than six hours before agreeing to postpone Brexit until Halloween.

Getting the UK Parliament to rally behind a Brexit deal seems all but impossible after multiple defeats in the House of Commons, including a January 15 vote in which May's deal was rejected by both pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit members of Parliament in a record-setting defeat. The member states now expect the British government, the Labour party and the Westminster parliament to find common ground on their preferred post-Brexit UK-EU relationship.

May said last month she would step down once her European Union divorce agreement was passed by the British parliament, an offer she hoped would persuade her Conservative critics to back the plan.

European Council president Donald Tusk was categorical in his message: "The course of action will be entirely in the UK's hands: They can still ratify the withdrawal agreement, in which case the extension can be terminated".

With German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisting that Britain would not be forced out and that a chaotic no-deal departure must be avoided if at all possible, there was never any real doubt that May would get an extension.

The British Prime Minister, set for a House of Commons statement to formally update MPs on the latest development, continues to battle mounting pressure from different sides of her own Conservative Party to step away from Downing Street and make way for a different Tory leader to deploy a fresh strategy to Brexit.

Economists say a no-deal Brexit could lead to a deep recession as tariffs and other barriers are imposed on United Kingdom exports and customs checks delay goods at British ports.

Pro-EU politicians said the next few months should be used to hold a new referendum on whether to leave the EU or remain.

Like many things related to Brexit, the extension was a messy compromise.

France wants a new summit once it is clearer whether or not there will be an early ratification or a British EU vote.

Economists and business leaders warn that a no-deal Brexit would lead to huge disruptions in trade and travel, with tariffs and customs checks causing gridlock at British ports and possible shortages of goods.

But she had to leave the EU27 to discuss the UK's future in her absence over a dinner of scallop soup and loin of cod.

"We are now in a position, astonishingly, of going into six months in which we will have a European election which will cost £100million to have".

It's for this reason Tusk wants to delay Brexit for another year.

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