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EU Leaders Ignore PM May’s Brexit Extension Request, Set Their Own April Deadline

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OLIVER JJ LANE

European leaders meeting late into the evening Thursday rejected the British Prime Minister’s request for a three month Brexit delay, agreeing to give her three weeks instead.

While the extension to April 12th — three weeks from today, and two weeks from the original and frequently guaranteed original March 29th departure date — is “unconditional”, European leaders expect Theresa May to use the time to get the withdrawal deal the EU agreed to give her over the line.

If Parliament passes May’s deal before April 12th, the EU will grant the PM an extra short extension until May 22nd to put the legislation in place to make that deal activate and pass smoothly. If the Prime Minister fails in doing what she is told by European leaders, the United Kingdom will either leave — against the wishes of almost everyone in the British and European political establishments — without a deal, or remain an EU member for either the long or short term.

Remaining a member beyond May will not be without its costs and penalties — the European Union will insist on Britain voting in European elections, although again there is no appetite for that on either side of the channel, and insist on the UK either having a general election or a second Brexit referendum, to cancel the first.

Speaking after Thursday’s summit, European Council president Donald Tusk reminded Britain that ignoring the largest democratic exercise in UK history and cancelling Brexit altogether remained an option, The Times reports. The globalist politician said: “The UK government will still have a choice of a deal, no-deal, a long extension or revoking Article 50.

“April 12 is a key date in terms of the UK wondering whether to hold European parliament elections. If it has not decided to do so by then the option of a long extension will immediately become impossible.”

Theresa May said the British Parliament had a “clear choice” and that she would be returning to the UK to whip up support for her deal.

Theresa May’s “deal” remains deeply controversial in Britain, opposed by both Brexiteers who say it merely reduces the UK to the status of a non-voting member of the EU, and by Remainers, who see any change in the UK’s relationship with the EU away from deeper integration as unacceptable.

The deal has already been rejected by Parliament twice, and stuck between a legislature who will not approve it and a European Union who will not amend it, the Prime Minister is left with few choices on how to proceed. Because she is totally opposed to the United Kingdom fully leaving the European Union no strings attached without a deal for ideological reasons, the only possible option she has left is to do as bidden by the European Union and bring the deal back to Parliament again for a third time next week.

This impasse is further complicated by the remain-supporting speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, indicating in strong terms that he wouldn’t allow the deal to return for a vote in Parliament for a third time unless it was substantially changed. The Prime Minister strongly implied earlier this week that because she wouldn’t allow Britain remaining in the European Union beyond June 2019 under her leadership, and because of her strong opposition to a ‘no deal’, Parliament rejecting the deal again would lead to her resigning as Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has not repeated that assertion since, however, meaning it could join a long list of other promises she has made during her leadership which were subsequently forgotten when they became politically inconvenient.

Oliver JJ Lane is the editor of Breitbart London — Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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