European Union leaders agreed to delay the deadline for Britain’s departure from the bloc until October 31, with a review at the end of June, EU diplomats and officials said today.
European Council President Donald Tusk said he would now meet British Prime Minister Theresa May to present the extension plan. May had asked for Brexit day to be postponed until June 30.
Under the deal, the U.K. must participate in the European Parliament election. And if the House of Commons ratifies the Withdrawal Agreement before the Halloween deadline then the U.K. can leave the EU earlier.
“The review in June is not to revise the date but only to assess the situation,” an EU diplomat clarified.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who is one of the EU leaders that decided on the extension offer wrote on Twitter: “A Brexit extension until 31 October is sensible since it gives time to UK to finally choose its way. The review in June will allow [the European Council] to take stock of the situation.”
The U.K. had originally been due to leave the EU on March 29, but May was forced to request an extension to that date when the House of Commons failed to ratify the Brexit deal that her government struck with Brussels in November.
The two national leaders, both dressed in cobalt blue, appeared captivated by something on Mrs Merkel’s iPad at the start of the meeting in Brussels
They then shared the joke with European Council president Donald Tusk, who saw the funny side. He has suggested that the UK face a Brexit delay of up to a year