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Juncker draws hard line on April 12 deadline for Brexit

The Spitzenkandidat system might begin and end with Jean-Claude Juncker | Thomas Niedermuller/Getty Images

Juncker draws hard line on April 12 deadline for Brexit

If UK parliament can’t adopt stance by then, no short extension will be possible, says Commission president.

By

4/3/19, 5:00 PM CET

Updated 4/3/19, 5:33 PM CET

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday there would be no short extension for Brexit once the April 12 deadline hits and reaffirmed that the Withdrawal Agreement is the best way forward.

“If the House of Commons does not adopt a stance by that date, no extension, no short-term extension will be possible,” Juncker told the European Parliament. “After April 12, we run the risk to jeopardize the correct running of the European elections and function of the European Union.”

Juncker added a no-deal scenario on April 12 is “more and more likely.”

This follows as British Prime Minister Theresa May announced Tuesday evening that she would reach out to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for a Brexit compromise. May’s move could lead to a softer Brexit, which includes elements of Labour’s plan such as a customs union with the EU.

The Commission president said the EU is prepared to add “political flexibility to the Political Declaration” and that the Commission will have to wait on what comes out of the talks between May and Corbyn.

Some MEPs during a European Parliament debate following Juncker’s remarks expressed relief that May has finally reached across the aisle to Corbyn.

“We said that three months ago,

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