Brexit talks could be extended beyond late March 2019 target

By on May 4, 2017


Photo: airpix/Flickr.com
Photo: airpix/Flickr.com

BRUSSELS – Brussels does not rule out extending Brexit talks beyond the March 2019 target, according to the European Commission’s directives.

Negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom on its exit could be extended beyond the late March 2019 target, the European Commission’s directives published Wednesday state.

“The UK will cease to be a member of the European Union at midnight on 29 March 2019, unless the European Council decides unanimously to extend the two-year negotiating period,” the directives read.

They state that the UK would “become a third country from the date of withdrawal.”

The European Council is expected to formally adopt the European Commission’s negotiating directives on May 22.

The United Kingdom officially began the EU withdrawal process in late March by handing a formal letter to European Council President Donald Tusk. According to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the United Kingdom now has two years to complete the negotiation process.