Top Eurocrat Calls to Reject Theresa May’s Request For Brexit Extension

Brexit
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Senior EU figures are calling for the European Union to reject Theresa May’s appeal for a short extension to the UK’s Brexit leaving date from April 12th to May 22nd.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker told MEPs “If the House of Commons does not adopt a stance before that date (April 12th), no short-term extension will be possible.”

A member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has also said that the EU should reject Theresa May’s calls for a further short delay to Brexit in favour of a longer extension and, in the process, force the UK to hold European Parliament elections, reports The Guardian.

Norbert Röttgen, who as well as being a key ally of Angela Merkel is also head of the German Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, has said there is “no point” in an extension. He wrote: “In the current situation of deep institutional deadlock, there is no point in asking for another short delay of Brexit. EU should insist on [a] long extension with participation in EU elections.”

Meanwhile, a senior Polish MEP, Danuta Maria Hübner, who sits on the European Parliament’s Brexit steering committee, told BBC Radio 4 that she feared it would be a “political effort to convince 27 member states to continue with this process of extension”.

The success of the Cooper bill to prevent no-deal Brexit on Wednesday night — passing the Commons with all three stages taking place in one day and passing by just one vote — may bring the United Kingdom closer to enacting the will of the European Union. The law, if it continues to pass the final hurdles to become law today, would require the government to seek a further extension from the European Union to prevent no-deal Brexit from happening.

Because the government would be legally obliged to follow this course of action, it could leave the European Union free to offer only a long extension of months or years of the kind the prime minister had recently said she could not accept. Alternatively, it could refuse to give the United Kingdom an extension at all, forcing it out of the European Union and ending the ongoing Brexit debacle.

If the EU does opt to reject Mrs May’s proposed extension, it would merely be the latest in a long line of snubs and rejections. In 2018, the EU rejected the prime minister’s plans for the Irish border, and just last month rejected her request to extend the date of the UK’s departure to June 30th.

Mrs May appealed on Tuesday to the EU for the extension. If such an extension is not granted, as it stands the UK will leave the EU without a deal on the 12th of April. The prime minister has previously ruled out leaving without a deal unless members of the UK parliament vote for such a measure.

The vote for a ‘no deal’ does not have the support of the Commons and in March a non-binding vote was tabled against a no deal Brexit, with no deal losing 312-308.

The prime minister is currently in negotiations with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in order to try and find a workable compromise deal.

May said the public “expect us to reach across this house to find a way through this” with Jeremy Corbyn responding that he welcomed Mrs May’s “willingness to compromise to resolve the Brexit deadlock”. The pair met Wednesday and ended with Mr Corbyn calling the meetings “inconclusive”.

The negotiations with Mr Corbyn have provoked a fierce backlash from many in the Conservative Party, however, with two junior ministers resigning from the government. In his resignation letter, ex-Tory Whip Nigel Adams stated: “It now seems that you and your cabinet have decided that a deal — cooked up with a Marxist who has never once in his political life put British interest first — is better than no deal.”

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