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'Anything is Possible' before April 12 Brexit Day, Says EU's Donald Tusk

Donald Tusk said all options were still available — including Britain cancelling its withdrawal, an idea backed by a petition in the UK that has now gathered almost three million signatures.

AFP

Updated:March 22, 2019, 9:14 PM IST
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'Anything is Possible' before April 12 Brexit Day, Says EU's Donald Tusk
European Union President Donald Tusk. (Reuters)

Brussels: EU Council President Donald Tusk said Friday that all Brexit options are on the table until the new April 12 deadline, including Britain cancelling its withdrawal.

Prime Minister Theresa May returned to Britain to try for a third time to persuade recalcitrant lawmakers to approve her EU withdrawal agreement after European leaders agreed to postpone the March 29 departure date.

If MPs back the accord, Britain will leave the EU on May 22, but if they vote it down again, London must say before April 12 what it plans to do, with a further delay only possible if it organises European Parliament elections.

Tusk said all options were still available — including Britain cancelling its withdrawal, an idea backed by a petition in the UK that has now gathered almost three million signatures.

"Until April 12, anything is possible — a deal, a long extension, if the UK decided to rethink its strategy or revoking Article 50, which is a prerogative of the UK government," Tusk said.

"The fate of Brexit is in the hands of our British friends. We are prepared for the worst, but hope for the best. As you know, hope dies last." German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that if May's deal is voted down again, the bloc's leaders would need another summit with May to discuss how to proceed.

"I think that this (April 12) is a very reasonable date. Of course we will meet again before that date — certainly in the presence of the British prime minister," Merkel told reporters after the summit in Brussels.

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