12 April 2019 - Brexit deadline extended (yet again) to 31st October
EU agrees to delay Brexit deadline until end of October: officials
Elizabeth Piper, Gabriela Baczynska, Alastair Macdonald (Global News, 10/04/2019)
European Union leaders gave Britain six more months to leave the bloc, more than Prime Minister Theresa May says she needs but less than many in the bloc wanted, thanks to fierce resistance from France.
The summit deal in Brussels in the early hours of Thursday meant Britain will not crash out on Friday without a treaty to smooth its passage. But it offers little clarity on when, how or even if Brexit will happen, as May struggles to build support in parliament for withdrawal terms agreed with the EU last year.
With German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisting that Britain would not be forced out and that a chaotic no-deal departure must be avoided if at all possible, there was never any real doubt that May would get an extension.
Brexit: What will six-month extension mean? Short and long story
Rob Watson, UK political correspondent (BBC, 11/04/2019)
By extending the Brexit deadline to 31 October, they have prompted headlines of "Halloween Brexit" and fuelled controversy over UK participation in next month's European elections.
So what will happen next? I've boiled it down to a short summary - and a longer analysis.
With the clock ticking again, Theresa May wants Parliament to finally agree on the UK's withdrawal from the EU preferably before 23 May, to avoid the UK taking part in elections to the European Parliament.
'It's a Halloween Brexit': European media's verdict on latest delay
John Henley (The Guardian, 11/04/2019)
Halloween might look like a fitting date for the end of the Brexit horror story, European media said, but Britain was by no means certain to leave the EU even then – and in any case, the damage had already been done.
“‘Brexit means Brexit’, as Theresa May repeated for so long?” said France’s Libération. “Not really. You have to ask whether the UK will ever leave. The prime minister won a new delay from her EU partners: to 31 October. The date is not a very good omen … ”
But whether Britain leaves in the autumn, or before, or not at all, the paper said, the “increasingly incomprehensible waltz of exit dates shows it has already succeeded in exporting its byzantine internal battles to Brussels … This summit shattered the united front that the Europeans had maintained for so long.”
What happens after October 31? Some in EU already imagine another Brexit delay
Gabriela Baczynska (Reuters, 11/04/2019)
The ink was not yet dry on EU leaders’ deal to give Britain a hard-fought, second delay to Brexit until November when some diplomats and officials in the bloc grudgingly conceded: This may well not be the last extension.
The Wednesday evening European Union summit ran into the wee hours of Thursday after staunch opposition from French President Emmanuel Macron to a longer postponement of Brexit swung the balance in favor of the Oct. 31 compromise.
European Commission Secretary General Martin Selmayr coined a new Twitter tag: #29MarchMeans12AprilMeans31Oct - a quip on how Britain had been due to leave the EU last month, then got a reprieve recess until Friday and now a new delay, months longer than London had sought.