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Theresa May Asks the EU for Brexit Extension - While a Year ‘Flextension’ May Be on the Cards

One News Page Staff Friday, 5 April 2019 ()
Theresa May Asks the EU for Brexit Extension - While a Year ‘Flextension’ May Be on the Cardsby 👨‍💻 Simon Baxendale

Will a year-long 'Flextension' offer Britain a second chance to resolve its Brexit deadlock?

Brexit – the complicated divorced between the UK and European Union – was due to take place at the end of March. However, things don’t seem to have transpired quite the way things were planned. As a result of continued disagreements in UK Parliament over the direction the divorce is heading in, Prime Minister Theresa May has been under continued fire for not doing enough to consider all sides of the debate. As a result, the deadline for Brexit has been and gone – and with the next deadline of April 12th fast arriving without clear intentions in play, May has now sought additional support in delaying the divorce.

According to Sky News, May has written to EU Council President Donald Tusk to ask for an extension which will lead the UK into Brexit by 30th June. This would be enacted in order to give British MPs more time to discuss a withdrawal agreement which will appeal to all involved. However, if discussions behind the scenes at the EU are to be believed, Tusk could be considering an even longer delay.

Tusk has advised EU council officials that a ‘reasonable’ resolution to the Brexit deadlock could be to delay the formal exit until March 31st 2020. That’s almost a year away – however, it will give MPs more time to consider the options available and potential ramifications without the clock ticking so intensively. An EU source has advised Sky News that Tusk has suggested a ‘flextension’ – whereby Brexit could still be enacted within the year delay if such a deal is found.

May, however, seems keen to keep Brexit in mind for the short term. There have been discussions emerging that an exit could be found before May 22nd, however, the Prime Minister is pushing for a June resolution.

Theresa May requests Brexit delay until June 30, with option to leave earlier
Theresa May requests Brexit delay until June 30, with option to leave earlier
[video: Press Association STUDIO]

“It is frustrating that we have not yet brought this process to a successful and orderly conclusion,” Mrs May writes in her letter. Earlier in the missive, she proposes that if a deal is found before June 30th, it will be enacted.

“If the parties are able to ratify before this date, the government proposes that the period should be terminated early.”

In any case, it seems that – while further referendums and General Elections still loom large as potential deadlock breakers – an extension to Brexit is very much on the cards.

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Credit: Reuters - Business (Amazon FireT - Published < > Embed
News video: Brexit hands in the balance as talks falter

Brexit hands in the balance as talks falter 01:25

Cross-party talks between the British government and opposition Labour have failed to produce a breakthrough on Brexit, while the EU considers later this week whether to grant the UK an extension on leaving the bloc to June 30th. Francis Maguire reports.

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