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Tusk urges EU27 leaders to accept his one-year Brexit extension idea

European Council President Donald Tusk | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Tusk urges EU27 leaders to accept his one-year Brexit extension idea

Council president fears short Brexit extension would increase risk of more extensions, emergency summits and cliff-edge dates. 

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4/9/19, 8:19 PM CET

Updated 4/9/19, 8:23 PM CET

European Council President Donald Tusk will urge the EU27 at an emergency summit Wednesday to accept his idea of a one-year Brexit extension to avoid “creating new cliff-edge dates,” and maintain “sincere cooperation” with the U.K. during that extension period, according to his traditional invitation letter published on the Council website Tuesday 

EU27 leaders will meet in Brussels on Wednesday evening to agree a response to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s request for a further Brexit extension until June 30.

They are set to offer the U.K. a further extension to the Brexit timetable, but the final date is yet to be decided, according to draft conclusions of the European Council summit.

In his letter, Tusk said he had “little reason” to believe that the ratification process in the U.K. for May’s Withdrawal Agreement could be completed by the end of June. “In reality, granting such an extension would increase the risk of a rolling series of short extensions and emergency summits, creating new cliff-edge dates,” he wrote. 

Instead, he reiterated his proposal for a one-year extension, in which “the UK would be free to leave whenever it is ready,” and would give tBritain time to “rethink its Brexit strategy.”

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