In a letter to European Council member, President Donald Tusk urged EU27 states to considering UK’s request for Article 50 extension at the meeting on Wednesday, to “do our utmost” to avoid disorderly Brexit.
However, Tusk noted that there is “little reason to believe” that ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement would be completed by the end of June. He also warned granting extension to June 30 would “increase the risk of a rolling series of short extensions and emergency summits, creating new cliff-edge dates.”
Thus, Tusk proposed a “flexible extension”, which would last only as long as necessary and no longer than one year. UK is free to leave “whenever it is ready”. And, importantly, a long extension would provide more certainty and predictability, while UK is allowed to rethink its Brexit strategy.Tusk also laid out the conditions for the extension: no re-opening of the Withdrawal Agreement; no start of the negotiations on the future, except for the Political Declaration; the UK would have to maintain its sincere cooperation also during this crucial period, in a manner that reflects its situation as a departing member state.