European Parliament Group leaders support a flexible extension until 31 January 2020

The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament on 24 October 2019 reviewed the state of play regarding the UK withdrawal from the EU in light of the latest developments and then wrote to European Council President, Donald Tusk, to recommend that he accept the request for a further extension to 31 January 2020.

The Conference of Presidents continues to take the view that the consent procedure with regard to the Withdrawal Agreement is not a formality, but must be preceded by a thorough and exhaustive scrutiny of the text.

“This extension will allow the United Kingdom to clarify its position and the European Parliament to properly exercise its role”, President Sassoli wrote.

In view of the time that such work requires, the Conference of Presidents noted that the European Council should accept the request of the UK Prime Minister of 19 October 2019 to extend the Article 50(3) period until 31 January 2020, with the option that this period could end earlier should ratification and consent procedure be completed in both the UK and the European Parliament.

The Conference of Presidents underlined that a European Council decision on an extension should take into account that the European Parliament’s consent procedure would begin only after the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by the UK. To read the European Parliament’s press release in full, click here.