What would another Brexit extension mean?

Politics Explained: A further delay would not give Boris Johnson carte blanche

Jon Stone
Brussels
@joncstone
Wednesday 17 July 2019 09:00
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Ursula von der Leyen said she would consider extending the Brexit deadline
Ursula von der Leyen said she would consider extending the Brexit deadline

Ursula von der Leyen, Strasbourg leaders’ next pick to be European Commission president, has said she would be open to a Brexit extension beyond 31 October, the current deadline.

What does this mean? For a start, it’s not up to her – the 27 remaining EU leaders get to decide at a summit earlier that month. Her view does count for something, though she won’t be in her post until 1 November. If she was against an extension, it would make life quite difficult were leaders to approve one.

Von der Leyen has also repeated the EU’s position on the withdrawal agreement: that it’s the only possible deal. This is more emphatic than what she said last week, which was merely that he backstop was important.

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