A week before Britain’s supposed exit from the European Union, the fate of “Brexit and the United Kingdom remains in limbo. EU leaders agreed to give Britain a delay or until May 22, or only until April 12-depending on whether the British Parliament will approve the agreement to withdraw from the EU. And it is absolutely not guaranteed.
Late on Thursday evening, after hours of discussion, the leaders of the 27 EU countries approved the draft decision, which to some extent — but not finally — insures Britain and the European Union from a sharp gap without a regulated relationship, or at least postpone it for a few weeks.
The EU leaders have decided that if next week the British Parliament will still accept twice rejected draft agreement on withdrawal from the EU, the withdrawal itself will be postponed until May 22.
If the House of Commons again rejects the draft agreement, then Britain will have time until April 12 to decide and inform the European Union what it is going to do next.
“Until that date, all options will be open and the collapse of “Brexit” will be postponed,” European Council President Donald Tusk told reporters.
“At this point, we will either come out without an agreement, or we will have to offer an alternative plan,” — so described the significance of this date at her, a separate press conference, British Prime Minister Theresa May.
On April 12 starts the campaign for elections to the European Parliament, and the EU at this point it is important to know whether Britain will remain for a long time — and will take part in these elections — or still leave.
Britain had to leave the European Union on March 29. However, on Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested the EU to postpone until June 30.
The delay was necessary because the British Parliament twice rejected the draft exit agreement drawn up by the government of Theresa May and Brussels.
The EU, however, has decided to give a shorter delay, making it conditional.
At the same time, it is unclear whether the condition of postponement— the adoption by the House of Commons of the draft exit agreement – will be fulfilled.
What if they don’t vote?
The draft was twice rejected by the House of Commons with a crushing vote, and there are no tangible signs that the third time it will gain a majority, yet.
In the absence of any other decision by default remained in force option in which Britain will leave the EU without a Treaty on March 29, that is, without a regulated relationship with the Union, in which it was 46 years.
“In the case of a negative vote in Britain, we will move towards an exit without an agreement. We all know it. In such days and moments, it is important to talk about it directly,” the French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday before the summit.
However, most EU leaders would like to avoid “hard “Brexit”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, before going to the summit, said that it will be “until the last day, until the last hour” to fight against such an outcome.
Now, thanks to the decision of the EU leaders, “hard “Brexit” almost certainly will not take place on March 29, and whether it will be after April 12 — depends on what will decide the Parliament and the government of Britain.