February 28, 2019 / 1:46 PM / 2 months ago

Brexit date can be extended but only for good reason - EU's Barnier

EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier speaks at a joint news conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna, Austria February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - The March 29 Brexit date can be extended but it must be for a good reason, the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday.

“If it is asked, European leaders will say ‘What for?’ and the duration of this potential extension will be linked to ‘What for?’,” Barnier told reporters after meeting Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

A “technical” extension could last until the eve of the European parliamentary election in May, he said, adding a longer extension would raise the issue of Britons voting in the European election.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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