EU grants UK Brexit extension until Oct 31

LONDON (AA): Leaders of the European Union agreed late Wednesday to grant an extension to the U.K. on Brexit up to the end of October with a review in June. European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter that the EU’s 27 member states and the UK reached the agreement at an emergency Brexit summit.

“EU27 has agreed an extension of Art. 50. I will now meet PM Theresa May for the UK government’s agreement,” Tusk tweeted. “EU27/UK have agreed a flexible extension until 31 October. This means additional six months for the UK to find the best possible solution,” he said in a later tweet. In a press conference, Tusk said if the withdrawal agreement is ratified by the U.K., the extension period will be terminated.

He said what happens during the extension is “in the U.K.’s hands”, including changing the strategy or even revoking Article 50. “Please do not waste this time,” he urged the U.K. “The U.K. will remain a friend of the EU,” he added. Tusk noted that the extension is shorter than he expected but long enough to allow the U.K. to find a solution. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that although the U.K. will remain a member, sometimes the EU27 would meet as 27.

He said there will probably be a European election in the U.K. May was aiming to avoid the U.K.’s participation in the upcoming European Parliament elections with a shorter extension. She confirmed at a press conference following the agreement that she has agreed to the EU’s terms for the extension.