European Council

EU agrees to another Brexit extension

The 27 remaining EU states and Great Britain have agreed to extend the deadline for Brexit until 31 October. Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of an intensive evening, which showed the consensus of the EU. For Germany, it has always been clear "that we are committed to and will fight for an orderly withdrawal."

In a large room with bright colours, the heads of state and government discussed how to proceed with Brexit.

The Council gave Prime Minister Theresa May (in blue) another Brexit extension.

Photo: Europäische Union

After the special meeting of the European Council in Brussels, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "In light of the many problems that exist in the world, it means very much to us, especially as Europeans, to show that even when faced with such a difficult decision as the resignation of a member state, we are able to facilitate an orderly exit, and will not give up on this." 

The heads of state and government discussed an extension of the exit date, and agreed to extend the deadline until 31 October. "For me - and that was the German position - it was clear that we are committed to and will fight for an orderly withdrawal, not due to British demands, but because of our own interests," emphasised the Chancellor.

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU, originally planned for 29 March, had already been postponed until 12 April. Since the British House of Commons has still not approved the withdrawal agreement, there has recently been the danger of a no-deal Brexit. 

Evening shows the consensus of the EU

After the special summit, Merkel emphasised that the evening has once again demonstrated the EU’s consensus. "The 27 countries, who over many months and years have shown that they want to follow a common path, will also continue together in future," she said.

The decisive question is when the British Parliament will assent to the exit date, according to the Chancellor. It had been made clear once again that the withdrawal agreement stands and will not be changed, and that it is certainly possible to talk about the nature of the future relationship.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in conversation with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Chancellor Angela Merkel shows Prime Minister May something amusing on her tablet.

Photo: Europäische Union

Merkel said that there must be clear opportunities for the withdrawal agreement to really be honoured. "Then, from our point of view, it doesn’t come down to the specific exit date."