European Council head to urge EU’s openness on Brexit extension

European Council head to urge EU’s openness on Brexit extension

Mubasher: European Council President Donald Tusk said he would ask the leaders of the European Union (EU) “to be open” to grant the UK a long extension of the Brexit deadline, if London needs to rethink its approach of leaving the bloc.

“I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it,” Tusk said on Twitter. Leaders of the bloc would meet to discuss Brexit on 21 and 22 March.

UK lawmakers are set to vote later in the day on whether the UK would remain longer in the EU than planned, after the parliament soundly decided to dismiss a no-deal departure from the bloc.

Premier May’s amended version of the withdrawal agreement was rejected on Tuesday.

In a surprise move, the House of Commons voted 312 to 308 to reject a no-deal Brexit under any circumstances, a proposal introduced by former Conservative chairman Dame Caroline Spelman.