Brexit: Tusk floats the idea of “flexible” extension

Apr 05, 2019, 4:02 AM EDT
(Source: Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916/flickr)
(Source: Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916/flickr)

European Council President Donald Tusk wants the E.U.27 to offer the U.K. a “flexible” Brexit extension of 12 months, a model that will allow Britain to leave the bloc earlier as and when the parliament manages to approve the withdrawal agreement.

Tusk, due to attend an E.U. Summit on Wednesday, backs the idea of “flextension,” as it would save the bloc leaders from repeated deliberations over extra Brexit delays every few weeks, notes The Guardian.

The proposal comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to write a letter to Tusk, formally requesting an extension to Brexit beyond April 12. The “flextension” could also be a little less repulsive to May’s own colleagues in Conservative Party, who have fumed at the prospects of long extensions, writes The New York Times.

Following months of stalemate and failed political maneuvering over her withdrawal agreement, May has eventually reached out to her adversary Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to wiggle out of the crisis, but even if the two sides iron out the differences, the ratification of a deal would be time-consuming and require the PM to request a long extension to Article 50.