The Twenty-seven agree that it is necessary to grant the United Kingdom a new extension that delays Brexit beyond October 31 to avoid a chaotic break, but they have not yet made a decision on the timing of this new postponement.
This was stated by the ambassadors to the EU at a meeting in Brussels to take stock with the European negotiator, Michel Barnier, who has concluded “without decision” and will force the ambassadors to meet again “Monday or Tuesday”, according to various diplomatic sources.
Upon leaving the meeting, Barnier has simply told the press that the meeting had allowed an “excellent discussion”, but that he had concluded without any decision on whether or not to grant a new extension to the United Kingdom.
“We follow everything that happens in London these days very carefully,” said the head of the European Commission, Mina Andreeva, in a press conference before referring to the outcome of the ambassadors meeting.
“The ambassadors of the European Union to Twenty-seven have agreed on the principle of an extension and the work will continue in the next few days, the intention is to make the decision by written procedure” without the need for the leaders to meet again, Andreeva has summed up.
The consensus among the ambassadors regarding the need for an extension is “full”, as it is also on the will that the decision of the bloc be unanimous and agreed, according to a senior European official.
In the absence of defining the deadlines, the only calendar on the table is the one proposed last week by the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, which was based on postponing Brexit until January 31, 2020, but with “flexibility” necessary for the United Kingdom to leave the EU before if it complies with the ratification of the agreement.
In any case, the ambassadors will have to meet again next Monday afternoon or Tuesday at the latest, to try to close this matter, and launch the written procedure. “Tusk does not intend to convene an extraordinary summit,” they say from their cabinet.
The sources consulted deny that there are significant discrepancies between the Twenty-seven – although France has said publicly in recent days that it does not see the meaning of an extension longer than a few days – while emphasizing the “volatility” of the political situation in the United Kingdom and to be clear about what “is best for Europe”.
Johnson announced on Thursday his intention to raise the electoral advance on Monday before the House of Commons, with December 12 as the proposed date.
In London, however, the measure is conditioned on the decision that the European Union can take in relation to the extension, despite the fact that the bloc is reluctant to resolve in any way as long as the horizon in the United Kingdom does not dissipate.
In order for the motion to proceed, the Government needs the support of two-thirds of the deputies, a ribbon that for now is not guaranteed. The opposition has already made it clear that it will not approve any electoral advance if there are no guarantees that the United Kingdom will not leave the block abruptly and without agreement.