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UK Formal Letter accepting the Article 50 Extension (11 April 2019)

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The UK formally accepts the extension to the Article 50 period following the EU Council meeting held on April 10 2019 in a letter from the UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU to the President of the European Council concerning Article 50 extension.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/confirmation-of-uk-government-agreement-to-extend-article-50

11 April 2019

His Excellency Donald Tusk
President of the European Council

I refer to the draft European Council Decision taken in agreement with the United Kingdom extending the period under Article 50(3) TEU, as attached to this letter. I am writing to confirm the agreement of the Government of the United Kingdom to the extension of the period under Article 50(3) and to this decision.

Tim Barrow

Confirmation Letter (copy)

Council Decision (copy)

PM statement to Parliament on EU Council: 11 April 2019

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Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement (11 April 2019) to the House of Commons on the European Council meeting in Brussels.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-european-council-11-april-2019

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a Statement on yesterday’s European Council.

But before I do, I am sure that the whole House will welcome the news this morning that the Metropolitan Police have arrested Julian Assange for breach of bail, after nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy. He has also been arrested in relation to an extradition request from the United States authorities. This is now a legal matter before the courts. My Right Honourable Friend the Home Secretary will make a Statement on this later, but I would like to thank the Metropolitan Police for carrying out their duties with great professionalism and to welcome the co-operation of the Ecuadorian government in bringing this matter to a resolution. Mr Speaker, this goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law.

Turning to the Council, my priority is to deliver Brexit – and to do so in an orderly way that does not disrupt people’s lives. So I continue to believe we need to leave the European Union with a deal as soon as possible. And of course, this House has voted repeatedly to avoid a No Deal. Yet despite the efforts of Members on all sides, we have not so far been able to vote for a deal.

So ahead of the Council, I wrote to President Tusk to seek a short extension to the Article 50 period to 30th June.

Remarks by Donald Tusk at the EU Council: 10 April 2019

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Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the special meeting of the European Council (Art. 50) on 10 April 2019.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2019/04/10/remarks-by-president-donald-tusk-after-the-special-meeting-of-the-european-council-art-50-on-10-april-2019/

Tonight the European Council decided to grant the United Kingdom a flexible extension of the Article 50 period until the 31st of October. This means an additional 6 months for the UK.

During this time, the course of action will be entirely in the UK’s hands. It can still ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, in which case the extension will be terminated.

It can also reconsider the whole Brexit strategy. That might lead to changes in the Political Declaration, but not in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Until the end of this period, the UK will also have the possibility to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit altogether.

The UK will continue its sincere cooperation as a full member state with all its rights, and as a close friend and trusted ally in the future.

Let me finish with a message to our British friends: this extension is as flexible as I expected, and a little bit shorter than I expected, but it’s still enough to find the best possible solution.

Please do not waste this time.

PM statement at the EU Council: 10-11 April 2019

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Prime Minister Theresa May’s press statement at the EU Council meeting held on 10-11 April 2019.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-at-the-european-council-11-april-2019

I have just met with Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, where I agreed an extension to the Brexit process to the end of October at the latest.

I continue to believe we need to leave the EU, with a deal, as soon as possible.

And vitally, the EU have agreed that the extension can be terminated when the Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified — which was my key request of my fellow leaders.

For example, this means that, if we are able to pass a deal in the first three weeks of May, we will not have to take part in European Elections and will officially leave the EU on Saturday, 1st June.

During the course of the extension, the European Council is clear that the UK will continue to hold full membership rights, as well as its obligations.

As I said in the room tonight, there is only a single tier of EU membership, with no conditionality attached beyond existing treaty obligations.

Let me conclude by saying this.

I know that there is huge frustration from many people that I had to request this extension.

The UK should have left the EU by now and I sincerely regret the fact that I have not yet been able to persuade Parliament to approve a deal which would allow the UK to leave in a smooth and orderly way.

But the choices we now face are stark and the timetable is clear.

So we must now press on at pace with our efforts to reach a consensus on a deal that is in the national interest.

Tomorrow I will be making a statement to the House of Commons.

Further talks will also take place between the Government and the Opposition to seek a way forward.

I do not pretend the next few weeks will be easy or that there is a simple way to break the deadlock in Parliament.

But we have a duty as politicians to find a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the Referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward.

Nothing is more pressing or more vital.

Special EU Council (Art.50), 10/04/2019

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Following a long EU Council meeting on 10 April 2019, EU27 leaders agreed to delay Brexit until 31 October 2019. Their decision was taken in agreement with the UK.

EU27 leaders took note of the letter sent by UK Prime Minister Theresa May asking for a further extension to the Article 50 period. They agreed to an extension to allow for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement.

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2019/04/10/

Such an extension should last only as long as necessary and, in any event, no longer than 31 October. If the withdrawal agreement is ratified by both parties before this date, the withdrawal will take place on the first day of the following month.

In the EU Council (Article 50) conclusions, EU27 leaders stressed that the UK will have to hold EU Parliament elections if it is still a member of the EU between 23 and 26 May 2019. If the UK fails to hold the elections, it will leave the EU on 1 June 2019.

The EU Council (Article 50) reiterated that there could be no reopening of the agreement. Any unilateral commitment, statement or other act should be compatible with the letter and the spirit of the withdrawal agreement. Leaders also noted that the extension could not be used to start negotiations on the future relationship.

However, if the position of the United Kingdom were to evolve, the European Council is prepared to reconsider the Political Declaration on the future relationship.

Finally, the heads of state or government took note of the UK’s commitment to act in a constructive and responsible manner during this time.

The United Kingdom shall facilitate the achievement of the Union’s tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union’s objectives, in particular when participating in the decision-making processes of the Union.

The EU Council will review progress at its meeting in June 2019.

Documents:

European Council (Article 50) conclusions, 10/04/2019

(copy pdf)

European Council decision extending the period under Article 50 TEU, 11/04/2019

(copy pdf)

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