Europe's 27 better able to reach agreement than UK alone - PM

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 12-04-2019 11:09:00 · 0 Comments
Europe's 27 better able to reach agreement than UK alone - PM

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, acknowledged on Thursday that there were “different views” in the European Council about a new Brexit extension, but noted that the 27 showed greater ability to reach an understanding than the UK parliament.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of yet another extraordinary European Council dedicated to Brexit, where the Council agreed to grant London a further extension of Article 50 for the UK to leave Europe, until 31 October, António Costa, who had argued for a longer extension, said he was still satisfied with the final decision.

“I believe we now all need to review the common position that was agreed by the 27. The one thing I think that has been very positive in all these negotiations is that although we do not always hold the same point of view, the 27 have proven to be better able at defining a common negotiating position, greater ease even, than the UK has been able to do internally”, he said.

The prime minister said it was absolutely essential to avoid a no-deal Brexit at all cost, as would have happened next Friday if the 27 had not granted the UK a further extension after the first one it gave three weeks ago (until 12 April), when Theresa May, recognised that the original Brexit date of 29 March was unfeasible.

António Costa also acknowledged that there was a risk that the new six-month extension of Article 50 may still not be enough for the UK to conclude the internal political process that would lead to approval of the Exit Agreement by the House of Commons and that on 31 October the leaders would be back in Brussels, probably at another late-night meeting to come to a similar conclusion as at this summit.


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