Today, the envoys of the European Union discussed its options for granting the United Kingdom another Brexit delay next week.
An official from Brussels said that the proposal of Donald Tusk for a postponement of up to a year had gained some support, however, national diplomats said that all options were still open.
The meeting of the EU leaders in Brussels that is scheduled on Wednesday must decide by unanimity regarding any further delay. Today, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, asked the bloc for a second postponement until the 30th of June, with the possibility of leaving earlier.
Tusk, who is set to chair the summit, has instead suggested for a delay of up to one year, which could be cut short if the parliament of the United Kingdom approves an EU divorce deal. May is in negotiations with the opposition Labour party to try to get the votes.
On condition of anonymity, the EU official stated: “Discussion showed wide support for Tusk’s idea of a long ‘flextension.'”
Two weeks ago, the leaders of the EU rejected a request from PM May for a reprieve until the 30th of June and some national diplomats said that all options were still on the table – from refusing a further delay and heading towards a no-deal Brexit to granting the request of PM May or pushing for a longer postponement.
Another EU diplomat briefed on the meeting, stated: “We are waiting to see if there is any real progress with Labour. Depending on what May comes with on Wednesday, how much clarity there is on the UK side, we still have the three options.”
He added: “Accepting her request is tough for some in the EU. June 30 is as tricky as it was two weeks ago because of the sensitivities around the European Parliament elections … A long delay is a way of reducing uncertainty and avoiding constant emergency Brexit summits.”
PM May has accepted that the UK will have to prepare to elect members of the European Parliament, however, she hopes to leave the bloc in time to pull out of polling.