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Brexit: EU Parliament may grant further extension. But UK’s withdrawal is “regrettable event”

(Strasbourg) The European Parliament considers Brexit as “an unprecedented and regrettable event whose negative consequences would be mitigated by an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union”; it also believes that “the UK and the EU will remain close neighbours and will continue to have many interests in common”; and that “the framework for such a close relationship is set out in the Political Declaration, pursuant to which those common interests can be protected and promoted, including by means of a new trade relationship”. These points are included in the motion for a resolution which the European Parliament will discuss and vote on in its plenary session in Strasbourg today, while also leaving the door open to a further extension of the withdrawal date. The proposed resolution, backed by all major parties, except the Eurosceptics, notes that “on 9 September 2019, an Act of the UK Parliament, obliging the UK Government to ask for an extension if an agreement has not been reached with the EU by 19 October 2019, was enacted”. The text indicates that the European Parliament “would support an extension of the period provided for in Article 50 if there are reasons and a purpose for such an extension (such as to avoid a ‘no-deal exit’, to hold a general election or a referendum, to revoke Article 50, or to approve a withdrawal agreement) and that the work and functioning of the EU institutions are not adversely affected”.

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