According to reports, the top leaders at the European Union are likely to take some time to discuss and decide on the plea of the United Kingdom government for an extension of Brexit deadline. It has been reported that the leaders of the other 27 EU states also want to give UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to have a last shot at getting his Brexit plan – which has been agreed to by the EU, passed through parliament via a vote.
A reluctant Johnson sent a letter seeking extension of the Brexit deadline from the EU which makes this the third instance that the UK has sought an extension for its departure from the EU. Brexit was to set in on October 31.
The other European countries within the EU are virtually tired of the endless “political mess” in eth UK over Brexit, said Pierre Vimont, a former French ambassador to the EU.
The first extension of Brexit was sought by the UK in Match this year when it was scheduled to leave the EU on March 29. The EU allowed a small extension period of up to April 12 giving time to the UK to Parliament to decide on the fate of the Brexit deal that was proposed by the then British Prime Minister Theresa May through a voting process. However this time frame was not enough for the UK and it sought another extension till June 30. This request from the UK had the EU divided down the middle as some of the EU members preferring to give a longer time frame to the UK till the beginning of 2020 while other member states preferred granting a much shorter extension to Britain. The result was a compromised six month extension to October 31.
“The EU does not want, and does not want to be blamed, for a no-deal (Brexit),” one EU official who is claimed to be aware of the thinking of the EU was quoted as saying in the media. The sources reportedly said that there would be no rush to come to an agreement at the EU.
There has been increasing concerns within the EU and its other member states about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and the resultant impact on the European economy. Therefore it is unlikely that the plea from the UK government would be completely negated by the EU even if the two parties came very close to the October 31 deadline. Technically, the deadline for Brexit is not until midnight of October 31 for agreeing to a third delay.
Despite the ambassadors from the other 27 countries getting together in Brussels on Sunday, there was no discussion on the request of extension from the UK as well as on the need for calling an emergency EU summit in the next few days.
“If there is a good reason for extension: On technical grounds in order to get the relevant legislation through or a second referendum/general elections to let the voters finally decide on exiting or staying, I guess the EU 27 will agree to a last extension,” said Vimont.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)