Today the Financial Times reports that the European Union’s legal service has given legal advice that Britain can extend its EU membership beyond summer 2019 without taking part in European elections or undermining the European Parliament.
The legal opinion comes as the frontrunner to become Germany’s next Chancellor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, joined more than two dozen leading German business people, politicians and others in signing a letter to The Times to persuade Britain “from the bottom of our hearts” to remain in the EU.
Responding, Chuka Umunna MP, a leading supporter of People’s Vote, said:
“Another argument against a People’s Vote is crumbling as leading EU legal advisers say that European Parliament elections are no barrier to holding a People’s Vote. And leading German politicians and business leaders - including the leader of Angela Merkel’s CDU Party - have made very clear that no choice is irreversible and that Britain is welcome and will always have friends in Europe.
“There is no appetite either at home or abroad for another round of fantasy Brexit in which all kinds of false promises are made only to flake apart in negotiations. There will be no patience in Europe for further proposals in which the UK pretends it can have the full benefits of EU membership, end freedom of movement and makes its own trade deals. We cannot “have our cake and it”.
“Whether it is a Conservative government, a Labour government or a coalition government of national unity, they will all face the same problem in the crucial few weeks ahead. There is no form of Brexit that can fulfil the promises made, that is better than the deal we’ve got inside Europe or will prevent this crisis going on forever. Supporters of others forms of Brexit now need to be more honest about them, before we are due to leave the EU, so that people know the consequences of each.
“Any Brexit plan which would offer no certainty over our future relationship with Europe and would simply result in years of back-and-forth, arguments and negotiations would damage Britain and leave us worse off. The only way forward is now a People’s Vote.”
Notes to editors:
- Financial Times: UK can delay Brexit without holding Europe elections, say lawyers - https://www.ft.com/content/901f95fe-1a70-11e9-9e64-d150b3105d21?emailId=5c40bc6667ce4e00047bf116&segmentId=488e9a50-190e-700c-cc1c-6a339da99cab
- CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told The Times: “A disorderly Brexit without a deal is the worst of all solutions. London must now put forward constructive proposals as to how to proceed. We will not block the path to Britain remaining in the EU.” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/bitte-stop-brexit-and-stay-with-us-germany-asks-britain-55c9tchl2