The leaders of the European Union have granted the request of Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, to delay Brexit, granting the United Kingdom a two-tier extension.
Following the crunch negotiations at a summit that were held in Brussels that ran late into the night, the premiers formally made an announcement that the 29th of March 2019 should be scrapped as the date that the United Kingdom will officially leave the European Union.
They softened the immediate threat of a no-deal Brexit by offering a delay until the 22nd of May if the MPs vote to pass the Brexit deal of prime minister by the end of next week.
However, if the parliament rejects it again in “meaningful vote three,” the United Kingdom faces a new hard deadline on the 12th of April.
At that point, it must “indicate a way forward” – including requesting for a long Brexit delay and to take part in the Parliament elections of the European Union – or fall out of the bloc with no deal.
Earlier last Thursday evening, PM May pressed her case for a delay to the leaders of the European Union talking to them for almost 90 minutes – one of her longest addresses yet in such a forum.
She was excluded from the negotiations where they made the final decision, which ended up running for more than four hours late.
Finally, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, declared a “unanimous agreement” and informed the prime minister.
In a midnight news conference, PM May said that the news “underlines” the “importance” of MPs supporting the Brexit deal.
She softened her tone after facing a backlash 24 hours before for criticising the parliament for the delay, acknowledging: “Last night I expressed frustration but I know MPs are frustrated too.”
For the first time, PM May also promised that if she fails to get a deal ratified next week, then the Commons could more easily demand what kind of Brexit it could vote for.
As a response to a question that was asked by Sky News, she promised to “stand by the commitments” that were made last week by David Lidington, her de-facto deputy, for “indicative votes” regarding other divorce scenarios.
However, PM May refused to acknowledge any blame for the situation that was branded a “national emergency” in a rare joint statement that was issued last Thursday by the Confederation for British Industry and Trade Union Congress.
Prime Minister May will hope that the pressure of a no-deal Brexit that is now unfolding bounces the MPs into supporting her deal.
She was helped by Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission. At a news conference that was held minutes earlier, he announced that there was “no more the EU can give.”
When asked how long a long extension would be, he answered: “Until the very end.”
Both Juncker and MTusk shared a laugh as they were confronted by comments that were made last month about there being a “special place in hell” for people who campaigned for Brexit without a plan about how to carry it out.
The EU Council president quipped: “According to our Pope, the hell is still empty. It means that there are a lot of spaces.”