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UK, EU agree 'flexible' Brexit delay to Oct 31

IANS  |  Brussels 

The UK and the (EU) have agreed on a "flexible" delay until October 31, with the option to leave earlier if British can secure Parliament's support for a withdrawal deal, said.

After a working dinner that dragged long into Wednesday night, leaders of the 27 EU nations agreed another delay to Britain's scheduled withdrawal from the bloc. European leaders were unconvinced by May's promise that the UK would leave by the end of June, reported.

of the Donald Tusk, who had originally proposed an extension of up to a year, confirmed the UK had accepted the deal.

"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," he told the media here, adding that the UK could also rethink its strategy or choose to "cancel altogether", the reported.

"Let me finish with a message to our British friends: This extension is as flexible as I expected, and a little bit shorter than I expected, but it's still enough to find the best

"Please do not waste this time," Tusk added.

The UK was meant to leave the EU on March 29 which was later extended to April 12.

The new extension means that Britain will more than likely have to hold elections for the on May 23, nearly three years after the British people voted to leave the EU.

If the UK does not participate in the elections, then it will crash out of the bloc without a deal on June 1.

Also on Wednesday night, said: "There will probably be a European election in the UK - that might seem a bit odd, but rules are rules and we must respect European law and then we will see what happens."

Following the meeting, May spoke to the media early Thursday morning, saying that although the delay extends until October 31, the UK can leave before then if pass deal.

"I know that there is huge frustration from many people that I had to request this extension. The UK should have left the EU by now and I sincerely regret the fact that I have not yet been able to persuade Parliament to approve a deal.

"I do not pretend the next few weeks will be easy, or there is a simple way to break the deadlock in Parliament. But we have a duty as politicians to find a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver and move our country forward. Nothing is more pressing or more vital," she said

May added that the UK "will continue to hold full membership rights and obligations (of the EU)" during the delay.

The is slated to address the on Thursday afternoon regarding the outcome of the Wednesday meeting.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 10:02 IST
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