April 9, 2019 / 6:50 AM / 11 days ago

Britain must say how it wants to use Brexit extension - EU presidency

FILE PHOTO: Flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament, ahead of a Brexit vote, in London, Britain March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Jacobs/File Photo

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - It is critical that Britain explains to European Union leaders on Wednesday how it intends to use the extension of the Brexit deadline it wants to apply for, the Romanian minister for European Affairs George Ciamba said on Tuesday.

Ciamba, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the bloc, told reporters before a meeting of EU ministers in Luxembourg that the EU welcomed Britain’s readiness to organise European parliament elections in May, but that in itself was not enough to grant London more time.

“We welcome the fact there is a commitment to organise European elections, it was one of the requirements to discuss the issue (of the extension),” Ciamba said.

“It is not enough... It is important for us to understand why the UK wants to stay (longer), you have to stay with a view to something,” he said.

“We have been in the same situation just a couple of weeks ago, we cannot afford to be discussing the same issue every two weeks without a plan,” he said.

Reporting By Gabriela Baczynska and Jan Strupczewski

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