Senior EU diplomats have laid the foundations for a Brexit delay at a secret meeting in Brussels ahead of the Prime Minister’s crunch meeting with leaders next week. Mrs May will be told by European counterparts if she wants to extend Britain’s EU membership beyond July 1 then the country must participate in the upcoming European Parliament elections. Brussels will have to terminate the UK’s extended membership of the EU iif elections for British MEPs have not been held within three months. According to a number of “room documents” from a meeting of EU27 ambassadors, leaders will be warned by their Brussels aides that “the prolonged presence in the EU framework of a withdrawing state leaves the European Union and its other member states in a legally unstable situation”.
The diplomatic notes obtained by Express.co.uk also state that British participation would be required in May’s EU elections to avoid legal challenges being made to each law passed by Brussels ahead of Brexit.
The memo reads: “All its of the Union adopted with the participation of an irregularly composed Parliament would be open to legal challenge on this ground, which would put the security of legal relations in the Union seriously at risk, on a very large scale.”
The document, produced by the European Council’s legal service, insists that any extension offered to Britain must not impend the bloc’s institutions and processes.
“The European Council should ensure that EU institutions and processes will not be paralysed by the consequences of the extension,” the note reads.
EU27 ambassadors also penned the first version of the decision to be undertaken, “in agreement with the United Kingdom”, on the possible Brexit delay.
According to a diplomat, there is still a wide range of views on the length that Mrs May could be offered at the March 21-22 Brussels summit.
The date on the leaked “European Council Decision” document will remain blank until a meeting of EU27 leaders next Thursday.
There are a number of concerns amongst leaders over British participation in the bloc’s decision making during any Article 50 extension, according to a Brussels source.
They said: “Eastern member states are particularly worried about British involvement in the negotiations for the EU’s next Multi-annual Financial Framework.”
According to the documents from yesterday evening’s secret meeting, EU leaders will not be able to impose special “conditions” on Britain during any Article 50 extension.
This will prevent Spain from attempting any further power grabs of Gibraltar ahead of their own general elections on April 28.
A number of EU leaders are said to be “frustrated” with Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez’s constant jousting of the Rock, according to a source familiar with Brexit negotiations.
The legal “room document” also prevents London and Brussels starting any negotiations on future trade and security deals during the extension.
On Thursday MPs voted by 413 to 202 in favour of delaying Brexit at least three months in order to give the Mrs May more time to secure support for her draft EU withdrawal agreement.
She is expected to hold a third “meaningful vote” next week as the pressure of a potential two-year delay to Brexit looms over MPs.
She could even hold a fourth vote immediately after the European Council summit, which is where EU leaders will spend hours mulling over their demands for a Brexit delay.
Published at Sat, 16 Mar 2019 00:07:00 +0000