BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Following is the text of an EU summit agreement on Thursday giving Britain more time to complete its withdrawal from the European Union.
1. The European Council takes note of the letter of Prime Minister Theresa May of 5 April 2019 asking for a further extension of the period referred to in Article 50(3) TEU.
2. In response, the European Council agrees to an extension to allow for the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement. Such an extension should last only as long as necessary and, in any event, no longer than 31 October 2019. If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by both parties before this date, the withdrawal will take place on the first day of the following month.
3. The European Council underlines that the extension cannot be allowed to undermine the regular functioning of the Union and its institutions. If the UK is still a Member of the EU on 23-26 May 2019 and if it has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019, it must hold the elections to the European Parliament in accordance with Union law. If the United Kingdom fails to live up to this obligation, the withdrawal will take place on 1 June 2019.
4. The European Council reiterates that there can be no opening of the Withdrawal Agreement, and that any unilateral commitment, statement or other act should be compatible with the letter and the spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement and must not hamper its implementation.
5. The European Council stresses that such an extension cannot be used to start negotiations on the future relationship. However, if the position of the United Kingdom were to evolve, the European Council is prepared to reconsider the Political Declaration on the future relationship in accordance with the positions and principles stated in its guidelines and statements, including as regards the territorial scope of the future relationship.
6. The European Council notes that, during the extension, the United Kingdom will remain a Member State with full rights and obligations in accordance with Article 50 TEU, and that the United Kingdom has a right to revoke its notification at any time.
7. The European Council takes note of the commitment by the United Kingdom to act in a constructive and responsible manner throughout the extension in accordance with the duty of sincere cooperation and expects the United Kingdom to fulfill this commitment and Treaty obligation in a manner that reflects its situation as a withdrawing Member State. To this effect, the United Kingdom shall facilitate the achievement of the Union’s tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardize the attainment of the Union’s objectives, in particular when participating in the decision-making processes of the Union.
8. In addition to meetings under Article 50 TEU, the 27 Member States and the Commission, where appropriate together with other institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union, will continue to meet separately at all levels to discuss matters related to the situation after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom.
9. The European Council will remain seized of the matter and will review progress at its meeting in June 2019.
Reporting by Alastair Macdonald ; @macdonaldrtr
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