“Please do not waste this time”: EU and UK agree to Brexit extension

The leaders of the remaining 27 countries in the European Union and British Prime Minister Theresa May have agreed to a “flexible extension” of Brexit until October 31, EU chairman Donald Tusk said early Thursday. Speaking after five hours of talks at an EU summit in Brussels, Tusk said his “message to British friends” was “please do not waste this time,” BBC News reports. 

May said the EU has granted her “key request” to add an early exit clause to its agreement to a six-month Brexit extension. May said she wants to leave “as soon as possible.” She said if U.K. lawmakers back her Brexit deal, her country can still leave before June 30 – the Brexit deadline that she had requested from the bloc.
May said Britain faces “stark” choices “and the timetable is clear.” Just two days before Britain was due to leave the EU, its leaders spent a long dinner meeting wrangling over whether to save Britain from a precipitous and potentially calamitous Brexit, or to give the foot-dragging departing nation a shove over the edge.May pleaded with them at an emergency summit to delay Britain’s exit, due on Friday, for a couple more months while the U.K. sorts out the mess that Brexit has become.Some were sympathetic, but French President Emmanuel Macron struck a warning note.”Nothing is decided,” Macron said as he arrived at the summit, insisting on “clarity” from May about what Britain wants.”What’s indispensable is that nothing should compromise the European project in the months to come,” he said.May believes that a June 30 deadline is enough time for Britain’s Parliament to ratify a Brexit deal and pass the legislation needed for a smooth Brexit.