EU to grant UK more time for withdrawal agreement in spite of threats: expert

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DailySweden

The UK government is putting a lot of pressure on parliamentarians, and it’s in the EU’s interest to grant the UK more time to reach a withdrawal agreement, said a senior Europe analyst on Friday when commenting on Brexit delay.

The EU has agreed to delay Brexit until May 22 as European Council President Donald Tusk announced on Twitter Thursday.

Adriano Bosoni, a senior Europe analyst for Stratfor, an American geopolitical intelligence group, made these remarks in responding to questions regarding the Brexit delay during an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN).

British Prime Minister Theresa May had previously written to the EU seeking to delay the country’s departure from the bloc until June 30, and the EU offered the short extension beyond March 29 given the European elections which will be held on May 23-26. Bosoni stated that the debate between mid-May or late June will make no difference.

“The EU is basically telling the UK you have one week to approve a deal, and if you do approve a deal, then we will give you time until mid-May to leave the EU. Of course, the UK wanted a longer extension, they wanted to stay in the EU until late June, but in the case of an agreement, if the commons approve a withdrawal agreement, I do not think that the debate between mid-May or late June will make a difference because we would be in the context of an agreement, in the context of an orderly Brexit, so if it’s a month and a half or three months, it would be just a minor detail,” said Bosoni.

On its first outing in the House of Commons in January, the UK government’s Brexit deal was rejected by 230 votes, the biggest defeat in British political history. In the second vote on March 12, it was beaten by a smaller margin of 149 votes. Bosoni said the UK government is putting a lot of pressure on parliamentarians, and that Prime Minister Theresa May has put herself into a tough situation.

“The UK government’s strategy is to put a lot of pressure on parliamentarians. Of course, this is the same document that was rejected by a large margin in January, and then a couple of weeks ago, so she will face an uphill battle. It’s not a given that she will succeed with her strategy of just pressuring MPs and making them fear the consequences of disapproving the agreement,” said Bosoni.

In analyzing how likely it is that Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, Bosoni said if a withdrawal agreement can’t be achieved, the EU will authorize the UK to exit without an agreement, and it’s in the EU’s interest to grant the UK more time.

“We have seen countries, in particular France, has been very vocal in its position that if they do not approve a withdrawal agreement, then the EU will authorize the UK to leave without an agreement. But I think that, if it gets to that, if we get to March 28, March 29 and there is still not an agreement on the table, I think that despite of the threats that we’re seeing right now, I think it’s in the EU’s interest to grant the UK more time,” said Bosoni.

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