Wednesday, February 21

EU gives 11 days for new Brexit plan



The EU has given the British government 11 days to come up with a fresh Brexit plan to avoid crashing out of the bloc at 11pm on 12 April.

In the immediate aftermath of the crushing rejection of the prime minister’s deal, the European council president, Donald Tusk, called an emergency leaders’ summit.

Should the UK seek a lengthy extension, leaders will debate any request at an extraordinary meeting on 10 April.

Should May succeed in getting her deal past the Commons next week at a fourth time of asking, the EU would likely waive through an extension until 22 May.

But speaking in Poland, the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said it was becoming more likely the UK could crash out on the new default Brexit date of 12 April.

The European commission’s most senior official, Martin Selmayr, tweeted: 12 April is now the new 29 March, in reference to the original date for the UK to leave the EU.

An official in the council, which represents member states, said Theresa May would probably be asked to address the other EU leaders on the chosen way forward at the summit on 10 April.

The exact timing and modalities of the European council are still to be decided but, like last week, the UK prime minister can be expected to participate in the beginning of the meeting.

In a statement, the European commission said a no-deal scenario was likely.

A no-deal scenario on 12 April is now a likely scenario. The EU has been preparing for this since December

2017 and is now fully prepared for a no-deal scenario at midnight on 12 April. The EU will remain united.

The benefits of the withdrawal agreement, including a transition period, will in no circumstances be replicated in a ‘no-deal’ scenario. Sectoral mini-deals are not an option.