The President of the European Council revealed his “quiet dream” after the bombshell announcement Brexit Day would be delayed until October 31 following a nine-hour summit. Mr Tusk told the Polish Press Agency: “Maybe we can avoid the UK leaving the EU. This is obviously not my role, but it’s my personal, quiet dream.”
Theresa May last night agreed to the extension of Article 50 with EU leaders, which removed the threat of a no-deal Brexit on Friday, but did not remove it as a potential outcome completely.
The UK will now head for a Halloween Brexit after the remaining 27 EU nations offered Mrs May a further six months to ratify or rethink her withdrawal deal.
The second extension to the Brexit process – initially intended to conclude on March 29 – definitively stopped the clock on a no-deal withdrawal on Friday with less than 48 hours to go.
But in early-hours press conference, Mr Tusk did not rule out further extensions beyond October.
The Prime Minister will make a statement on the deal to the House of Commons later today.
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8.24pm update: UK handed a ‘lifeline’ with Brextension
Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: “The British people have been given a lifeline.
“The Conservatives have dragged the country into chaos, but the extension agreed in the early hours of this morning offers a route out from the Brexit mess they have created.
“A flexible extension until October 31 is long enough to hold a people’s vote. The Prime Minister must now show leadership by handing the decision back to the British public.
“It is long overdue that Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn abandon their party political games, stop wasting time, and give the people the final say with an option to stay in the EU.”
8.13am update: Trump’s bitter attack on EU
Donald Trump has launched a bitter attack on European Union bosses over their treatment of Britain and warned them: “It could all come back to bite you!”
The US President hit out after Theresa May has accepted an offer from the leaders of the remaining 27 EU countries to delay Brexit until October 31.
Mr Trump also issued a thinly-veiled threat to shake-up America’s trading relationship with the EU..
He tweeted: “Too bad that the European Union is being so tough on the United Kingdom and Brexit.
“The EU is likewise a brutal trading partner with the United States, which will change.
“Sometimes in life you have to let people breathe before it all comes back to bite you!”
8.01am update: Brextension is long enough to get May deal through
Brexit Minister Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is not a secret that we have had a difficult time in trying to get the deal through the House of Commons.
“Parliament is in gridlock at the moment and I think that we have got the time, hopefully, to get the deal through.
“But, it’s been challenging.
“I think that the extension is long enough to get a deal through.”