According to a document that was seen by the Financial Times, the European Union said that it will terminate the membership of the United Kingdom of the bloc on the 1st July if the country does not participate in the European elections that is scheduled for the 23rd to the 26th of May this year.
Reportedly, the draft paper outlines that if Britain tries to request an extension to Article 50 of more than three months, then it must participate in the elections.
At a summit that is scheduled to be next week, the leaders of the European Union will decide whether to delay Brexit beyond its current deadline of 29 March and how long the extension will be, if any, should be granted. All of the 27 leaders of the bloc must unanimously agree on a decision.
The document also disclosed the legal constraints on the European Union over a possible extension. It warned that its institutions would “cease being able to operate in a secure legal context” if the United Kingdom does not hold elections but remains in the bloc beyond the end of June.
It could be considered as a legal standpoint that will help Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, to get the Brexiteers who have opposed her deal twice, to vote for her proposal in a third round scheduled next week.
PM May said that the United Kingdom will need to seek a much longer extension, that may even be more than a year, if her deal is rejected for the third time. It would also require the Conservative party into an election campaign.
According to the FT, the paper stated: “No extension should be granted beyond July 1 unless the European Parliament elections are held at the mandatory date.”
It added: “If they are not held, the extension should terminate its effects before the European Parliament meets on 2 July.”
Earlier this week, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commissioner, said that if the United Kingdom was leaving the European Union, it must do so by the European elections, on the 22nd of May, however, the draft paper discloses that it would not be necessary until newly elected MEPs take their seats on the 2nd of July.
Last Thursday, PM May won the support of the House of Commons. It aims to seek an extension to the 30th of June if her withdrawal agreement obtains a majority vote at the third time of asking.