Confirmed: Brexit has officially been delayed until October 31
If you haven't heard, it's been delayed... again.
Trick or treat! Brexit will be delayed until October 31, the leaders of the European Union's other 27 member states have agreed.
Theresa May sprinted across the Channel for an EU council summit yesterday, where it was decided the UK's departure from the EU will be delayed until October 31, with a review in June (the prime minister's preferred extension date.)
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) April 10, 2019
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) April 10, 2019
Yesterday EU council president Donald Tusk wrote to EU leaders requesting a year-long delay to Brexit.
The decision heads off a no deal exit this Friday, mitigating the prime minister's parroted position that no deal is better than a bad deal.
Significantly, the extension provides just enough time for a second referendum to be held, 24 weeks exactly.
Not that that's likely to happen.
If October 31st is the new Brexit date then, according to what the @ElectoralCommUK told me last week, there is *just* enough time for a referendum, if parliament were so minded.
— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) April 10, 2019
31st Oct would only just be long enough because it takes a minimum of 24 weeks to deliver a #PeoplesVote Parliament would need to move quickly & decisively ...and the leadership to deliver anything has been in short supply #BrokenPolitics
— Sarah Wollaston (@sarahwollaston) April 10, 2019
The June review date was added after strong man shenanigans from Emmanuel Macron, an EU diplomat told Reuters that the French president was "in a bit of a schizophrenic situation."
They also report that the reason for selecting October 31 "is that it stops before the new European Commission takes office on Nov. 1, so Britain cannot obstruct the functioning of the EU executive."
Theresa May returned to the summit with the EU27 after dinner with the UK's permanent representative to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, for confirmation.
— EU Council TV News (@EUCouncilTVNews) April 10, 2019
So a compromise has been reached. Extension to Oct 31, with a review point in June where UK's compliance with conditions (especially holding EU elections) can be checked. Macron, who stood starkly alone for much of the discussion, has lost some respect among EU diplomats tonight.
— Nick Gutteridge (@nickgutteridge) April 10, 2019
31 October is also the date British forces got involved in the Suez crisis (1956), the day the Battle of Britain ended (1941), and the date of the last successful cavalry charge in history (1917)
— Jon Stone (@joncstone) April 10, 2019