Quick Update: Brexit Date Extended to 31 October 2019

In the early hours of 11 April 2019, Brexit date was extended again, this time to 31 October 2019.

The original Brexit date was 29 March, two years from the date on which the UK gave the EU notice of its intention to leave the EU. Then on 22 March, the EU and UK agreed to extend the date to 12 April. The withdrawal terms agreed in draft between the EU and UK in November 2018 had been rejected by the UK Parliament on three successive occasions. The purpose of the extension was to give the UK time to develop alternative withdrawal plans for consideration by the EU before the new date.

Further debates in the UK Parliament since 29 March have not generated any alternatives, nor have discussions between the prime minister and the leader of the main opposition party. The only consensus so far has been a Parliamentary vote against leaving the EU without any withdrawal terms.

As a result, the UK prime minister met with the heads of the other 27 EU member states on 10 April to request a further extension to 30 June. After discussions that ended in the early hours of 11 April, the EU granted an extension for as long as necessary, but no longer than 31 October. Announcing this extension, the EU urged the UK not to waste this time in finding the best possible solution, whether through a strategy rethink or a decision to cancel Brexit. In response, the UK prime minister said the UK would aim to leave the EU as soon as possible and in a later message highlighted the need to act quickly to find consensus on a deal that is in the national interest.

How this consensus is reached, and whether it will be preceded by a second referendum, a change of prime minister, or a general election, remains to be seen.

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