March 14, 2019 / 11:48 AM / in a month

Brexit extension beyond May means UK participation in EU elections: Commission

British Union Jack flags are seen on the desks, ahead of a debate on the future of Europe, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An extension of Brexit talks beyond the date of European Parliament elections in late May would mean that Britain would have to take part in European Parliament elections despite its plan to leave the EU, the European Commission said.

“If the UK is still a member of the EU during EU parliamentary election, they will have to take part in it,” Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a regular new briefing.

The British parliament will vote later on Thursday on a possible extension of Brexit negotiations beyond the original March 29th deadline.

“We need to have a request coming in, we would need to decide by unanimity,” the spokesman said.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Clare Roth; editing by Francesco Guarascio

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