Trick or treat: Brexit delayed until Halloween
Yes, Brexit has been delayed yet again, this time until October 31. The United Kingdom may leave sooner, however, if a deal is reached before this deadline.
EU leaders agree to give the UK more time
After much and long discussion at the EU summit on Wednesday, April 10, EU leaders have decided to grant the UK yet another delay for Brexit. This time, the UK has until October 31 to reach a deal, change strategy or decide to revoke article 50. Along with the extension, there will also be a “review” on June 30. During this meeting, EU leaders will be informed of what is happening.
In light of the extension, president of the EU council Donald Tusk has expressed, “Please, do not waste this time”, specifically addressing the UK. The length of the extension is more than what Theresa May was expecting, wanting to leave the EU as soon as possible and change the extension to June 30. The UK would have already left the EU on Friday, April 12 if this extension were not granted.
EU elections and leaving early
There are a few obligations attached to the extension, namely that Britain must hold European Parliament elections, or otherwise leave on June 1; the extension is only for as long as necessary and no longer than October 31, and there can be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement negotiations. So, as you can see, the UK must hold European Parliament elections or otherwise face a no-deal Brexit on June 1, that is, if a deal hasn’t been agreed by then.
The October 31 deadline has been chosen for a reason, as this is the last working day of the European Commission. On November 1, the next European Commission takes office.