April 5, 2019
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The chairman of European Union leaders Donald Tusk is likely to offer Britain a flexible extension of the date of the country’s exit from the EU of up to one year, with the possibility of leaving sooner, a senior EU official said.
The official said the option could be presented to British Prime Minister Theresa May at the EU summit on Brexit on April 10th in Brussels. If May accepted, Britain would have to hold elections to the European parliament in May, the official said.
“The only reasonable way out would be a long but flexible extension. I would call it a ‘flextension’,” the official said.
“We could give the UK a year-long extension, automatically terminated once the Withdrawal Agreement has been accepted and ratified by the House of Commons,” the official said.
“And even if this were not possible, then the UK would still have enough time to rethink its Brexit strategy. A short extension if possible, and a long one if necessary. It seems to be a good scenario for both sides, as it gives the UK all the necessary flexibility, while avoiding the need to meet every few weeks to further discuss Brexit extensions,” he said.
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski)