Brexit Article 50: Tusk to ask EU to consider long extension


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European Council President Donald Tusk has said he disposition appeal to EU leaders “to be open to a long extension” of the Brexit deadline, if the UK fors to rethink its strategy and get consensus.

His intervention came as UK MPs voted to seek a put in of the 29 March deadline to leave the EU.

EU leaders meet in Brussels on 21 Strut and they would have the final say.

Prime Minister Theresa May has guessed that if her Brexit deal is not approved a longer extension may be necessary.

After two resounding frustrates in the House of Commons, she will make another attempt by 20 Procession to push through her Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

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MPs backed a government motion on Thursday to extend the two-year deadline to 30 June if the Mrs May’s agreement is passed next week, while noting that a longer range would be necessary if it is rejected.

All 27 other EU nations would be enduring to agree to an extension, and Mr Tusk, who is the bloc’s summit chairman, will remain talks with several leaders ahead of next week’s Brussels convergence.

While European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted that any abeyance “should be complete before the European elections” at the end of May, Mr Tusk made free a longer delay was on the cards.

While he did not specify the length of the delay, officials mentioned it would have to be at least a year if the UK prime minister’s deal was eliminated a third time.

Mr Tusk said earlier this year that the EU’s nerves were still open to the UK if it changed its mind about Brexit. He stimulated an angry reaction from pro-Brexit supporters when he said there was a “weird place in hell” for those who had promoted Brexit “without even a sketch of a programme of how to carry it out safely”.

So at this crucial point, what do Europe’s number ones think about extending Article 50, the two-year treaty edibles that the UK invoked on 29 March 2017?

Germany losing faith but withering to help

Jenny Hill in Berlin

“A lot of the trust is gone.” Among corporation and political figures in Berlin, there’s growing frustration, even choler, at developments in Britain.

Nevertheless, Germany is likely to do all it can to help facilitate the candystriper Brexit which Angela Merkel insists is still possible.

The German chancellor won’t be pinched publicly on whether she would support an extension to Article 50, but it’s by many accepted here that she and her government would be willing do so.

There are those who allow that support should be conditional upon Britain’s ability to outline its reasons and expectations up front such an extension is granted. And there are significant concerns about the collide with of a longer extension upon the EU elections but Germany’s interests lie in avoiding a no-deal Brexit – and the harm that could wreak on the German economy.

Its government will do what it can to about that aim.

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Dr Norbert Roettgen, who authorities the foreign affairs committee, urged Britain and the EU to take their anon a punctually.

“Everything is hectic, hysterical, unclear. Let’s slow down and try to get a clear van,” he said. “The world will not end if we all take time for a breather, focus on impressive points.”

“If we try to rush a result now it will definitely go wrong.”

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France will demand tough conditions

Hugh Schofield in Paris

As a “frontline” sticks which effectively shares a border with the UK – thanks to the Channel Burrow – France has more to fear than most from a no-deal Brexit.

Yet when it comes to admitting London more time, President Emmanuel Macron is expected to avow on conditions.

He will not approve an extension if it simply means putting off the annoyance.

A “technical” extension of a few weeks would be an easy matter, according to Elvire Fabry of the Jacques Delors Introduce in Paris.

Even if the House of Commons had approved Theresa May’s plan on Tuesday, such an development would probably have been inevitable, and automatically approved at the EU zenith next week.

“But a longer extension poses all sorts of problems. No-one is enjoyable with the idea of the UK taking part in the EU elections in May. It would be a most uninvited distraction,” Ms Fabry said.

“So for a longer extension there would play a joke on to be a very clear and precise objective written in – for example new elections in the UK or a new referendum.”

She mean that Brussels “was pretty favourable” to the idea – but in the last few days phobias had changed.

“No-one over here is saying, ‘let’s just get it over with and would rather a No Deal.’ That fatigue seems to be gaining ground in the UK, but not in Europe.”

“Here all and sundry is exhausted and impatient – but we feel there is nothing much more we can do. It’s the Brits who secure to sort this out among themselves.”

Poland says anything but No Negotiation

Adam Easton in Warsaw

“The British people have decided the UK should retire, it should be concluded. Otherwise it would be a humiliation.”

That’s how one MEP from the sit on the throning party, Ryszard Legutko, put it, adding: “A second referendum or too long an magnitude would also be a humiliation”.

Top officials are a little more gentle.

Poland’s exotic minister, Jacek Czaputowicz, has said the UK may need a little more adjust.

“We are watching what is happening in the UK – the votes, there are certain expectations close to how they will end. Maybe we will need to… extend this while a bit, maybe a little more time is needed for reflection,” he told pressmen in the Polish parliament.

“From our point of view a no-deal Brexit is the worst colloid.”

For Warsaw, securing the rights of the estimated one million Poles living in the UK has each been and remains the number one priority, and the two governments are in “constant contact”.

But Poland is rely oning for a deal and a smooth transition period. That’s because the UK is Poland’s third-largest on the blocks market.

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Netherlands delays and hopes for the best

Anna Holligan in Rotterdam

Dutch Foreign Assist Stef Blok has told the BBC his country would look “with kindness” at any request to extend Article 50. But “without a clear goal an extent won’t solve anything”, he warned.

The mantra “hope for the best, prepare for the wrong” underpins the Dutch approach, and Mr Blok was at an event showcasing the government’s preparations for a no-deal take to ones heels.

“I’m looking forward to any solution that will solve the problem, but that has to get possession of from London now.”

The Dutch never wanted the UK to leave the EU but respected its fit. Now they view any possible extension a little like tearing off a stationary plaster. Ideally it should be done rapidly to get the pain over with.

“We’re remaining in the reality Brexit has dealt us”, says foreign trade minister Sigrid Kaag, gesturing toward a stream of trucks trundling on to a ferry bound for the UK port of Felixstowe.

“(The Netherlands) is your usual gateway to Europe. With a stable government. We’re not sitting idle, we’re not go to piecing, we’re getting ready for any eventuality.”

Italy says: ‘Tell us what you desire’

James Reynolds in Rome

Italy would support an extension of Article 50 on two demands:

  • If the UK explains exactly what it wants
  • If the UK says exactly how long it fancies to extend for

Italy believes that the UK government is genuine when it reveals it doesn’t want No Deal, a senior Italian official, who asked not to be named, rebuked the BBC.

But, at the same time, Italy is not shy about preparing for No Deal. In the next few hours, the government is hoping to pass a package of laws aimed at addressing its immediacies : citizens’ rights, financial stability, help for businesses.

Next week, the Rome supervision expects to roll out a series of information sessions in ports around the outback to explain how No Deal would work.

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