The Speaker
Tuesday, 18 June 2024 – 17:34

Brexit: UK and EU agree on extension until 31 October

The UK also has the option to leave in June if Theresa May can secure Commons support for a deal. 

It’s trick or treat for Theresa May as European Union leaders have granted the UK a six-month delay to Brexit, after five hours of talks in Brussels, it will see the UK leave the EU on Halloween.

The new deadline averts the prospect of the UK having to leave the EU without a deal on Friday, as MPs are still at loggerheads over a deal.

European Council president, Donald Tusk said his “message to British friends” was “please do not waste this time”.

A marathon six-hour debate among the EU leaders concluded with the prime minister being offered a longer extension than she had sought, but she said the UK would still aim to leave the EU as soon as possible.

The UK must now hold European elections in May or leave on 1 June without a deal.

“This extension is as flexible as I expected and a little bit shorter than I expected but it is enough to find the best solution”, Donald Tusk added.

The EU would hold a symbolic June summit to review the UK’s behaviour as a member state following an outspoken intervention by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, about the need to avoid a ‘rogue’ Britain undermining the European project.

The prime minister will now head back to London to give a statement in the House of Commons in the early afternoon.

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