EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker: The UK cannot keep delaying Brexit | Politics News


The UK cannot delay Brexit indefinitely and must stop wasting time, the European commission chief has said.

Jean-Claude Juncker warned Britain that its departure from the EU must happen by the new 31 October deadline.

“I hope that the British will make use of this time and not waste it again. We cannot keep on putting off the withdrawal date indefinitely,” Mr Juncker said.

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“The best solution would be for the British to adopt the withdrawal agreement during the extra time that has been agreed.”

Prime Minister Theresa May had her deal rejected three times

The UK was meant to leave on 29 March, but it has been delayed twice, first to 21 April and now to 31 October, because MPs repeatedly voted down Theresa May’s deal.

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The prime minister agreed to delay Brexit earlier this month after EU member states decided to give her an extra six and a half months to get a deal through parliament.

In an interview with German newspaper FUNKE Mediengruppe, Mr Juncker also said that despite a six-month delay, the UK could still leave without a deal.

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker following their latest talks on the Irish backstop
The PM and Mr Juncker

“Nobody knows how Brexit will end. This is creating great uncertainty. There is still a fear that there will be a hard Brexit without any withdrawal treaty arrangements,” he said.

Under the terms of the extension, if Mrs May finally gets her withdrawal agreement approved by the House of Commons prior to 31 October, the UK could leave the EU earlier than that Halloween deadline.

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‘We must honour Brexit, regardless of any economic fallout’

The prime minister insisted the UK could still avoid having to hold European Parliament elections on 23 May if her withdrawal agreement is finally approved by MPs in the first three weeks of next May.

The government has begun preparations to hold those elections, but will cancel the polls if Brexit is agreed before they are due.

An activist waves a combination of the Union and the EU flags near the Houses of Parliament in central London on April 10, 2019. - The EU's chief Brexit negotiator said Tuesday that the length of any delay to the divorce that the bloc may grant Britain will depend on what plan Prime Minister Theresa May brings to a crunch summit. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Call for short Brexit compromise talks to avoid EU elections

The EU27 agreed, if the UK fails to leave the EU by 23 May but also does not hold European elections, it will leave with no deal on 1 June.

But Mr Juncker said Britain will likely be an EU member next month when EU elections are held.


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