After a long night, running into the morning, the EU27 and the UK agreed a further extension under Article 50.
In simple terms the agreement means:
- A Brexit extension, only as long as required, with a maximum extension of 31st October to allow for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement.
- If the UK does not leave the EU by 1st June it will be required to hold elections to the European Parliament.
- The European Council reiterates there can be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement negotiations.
After the summit European Council president Donald Tusk offered the following remarks:
“Tonight the European Council decided to grant the United Kingdom a flexible extension of the Article 50 period until the 31st of October. This means an additional 6 months for the UK. During this time, the course of action will be entirely in the UK’s hands. It can still ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, in which case the extension will be terminated. It can also reconsider the whole Brexit strategy. That might lead to changes in the Political Declaration, but not in the Withdrawal Agreement. Until the end of this period, the UK will also have the possibility to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit altogether.
The UK will continue its sincere cooperation as a full member state with all its rights, and as a close friend and trusted ally in the future.
Let me finish with a message to our British friends: this extension is as flexible as I expected, and a little bit shorter than I expected, but it’s still enough to find the best possible solution. Please do not waste this time.”
The full decision of the European Council can be read below: