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EU, Britain agree to delay Brexit to Oct 31, Latest World News

EU, Britain agree to delay Brexit to Oct 31, Latest World News

"Tonight, the European Council chose to grant the United Kingdom a flexible extension of the Article 50 period until the 31st of October", he told reporters.

Leaders of the 27 European Union member countries met for at least six hours before settling towards the end of October.

French officials, pointing to threats by some of Mrs May's pro-Brexit potential successors, spoke of the European Union facing "blackmail" by a future Britain blocking decisions in Brussels.

"Vitally, the EU has agreed that the extension can be terminated when the Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified - which was my key request of my fellow leaders", May said in a statement in the early hours of Thursday at the end of a European Council summit.

Sterling rose against the dollar to pop above $1.31 after the possibility of a no-deal Brexit - which would've been the default outcome of Britain leaving the European Union on 12 April if an extension was rejected by the bloc - was quashed temporarily.

The European Parliament will need to accept any bargain May reaches the EU to ensure it is binding.

"This is not the normal way of British politics ..."

She said: "We have to use this time to make sure that we deliver the Brexit we are all looking for, that we work closely with the European Union and that they are genuinely helping to make sure we do deliver on the referendum - there won't be any changing our minds about that". But lawmakers have done that before - and ended up rejecting everything on offer.

Business leaders and economists have cautioned that a Brexit would lead to disruptions in commerce and travel, together with tariffs and customs checks causing gridlock at possible shortages of goods and ports.

France, which has had a love-hate connection for approximately 1,000 years with Britain, is in the forefront to find some action to be taken by the EU.

Having failed to win enough support from her own Conservative Party, May last week began negotiations with the opposition Labour Party.

At the late-night European Council meeting yesterday, EU leaders rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's request to extend Brexit until 30 June, instead offering an extension until the end of October.

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Every initiative has floundered so far.

Talks over the past week have not made a breakthrough, though they continued on Thursday, and neither side seemed willing to abandon them yet. Labour favors a softer Brexit compared to the government would like to keep a close financial relationship with the bloc, and has suggested.

The battle starts in Britain over things to do with all the time.

Meanwhile the government says it will "continue to make all necessary preparations" for a no-deal Brexit.

May did state her standing on holding another European Union referendum has not changed, meaning she is opposed.

The message - said to have been sent to all civil servants in an unnamed "front line Brexit department" - said the suspension was taking place with "immediate effect".

With German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisting Britain would not be forced out and a chaotic no-deal departure must be avoided if possible, there was never any real doubt that Mrs May would get an extension.

"But the choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear", she said.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar reported the time had arrived to determine what it needs. "Nobody has to stay but it's also a home and we aren't likely to kick anybody out".

"She feels trapped", explained Thomas Raines, head of the Europe schedule at the Chatham House think tank.

At the same time, one should note the purely political nature of this decision: Emmanuel Macron sought a shorter extension and managed to pull out a compromise.