April 5, 2019 / 9:17 AM / 8 months ago

Brexit 'flextension' idea of EU's Tusk would allow UK to leave on July 1: senior official

FILE PHOTO - British and EU flags flutter at Tapa military base, Estonia April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A proposal by European Council President Donald Tusk for a year-long Brexit delay would allow the United Kingdom to leave on July 1 as well if its parliament has ratified the EU divorce deal by then, a senior official within the bloc said on Friday.

Asked how to reconcile the proposal by Tusk - who will chair the Apr. 10 summit of EU leaders on Brexit - with Prime Minister Theresa May’s request for a second Brexit postponement only until June 30, 2019, the source said:

“Flextension allows for leaving the EU on July 1 as well. Only that they would have to finalize the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by then,” the senior official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Tusk’s idea for a ‘flextension’ - or a ‘flexible extension’ of the process of the UK leaving the EU - would allow for it to be cut short if the House of Commons passes May’s exit deal before the extension runs its course.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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