Posted on Jul 19, 2019
The new head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said she would be prepared to grant Britain an extension to the seemingly interminable talks on Brexit if the UK government were to give good grounds, stating her position that an orderly departure was important to ensure positive future relations.
In an interview with a consortium of European newspapers, including Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, she said the European Union would first wait for a new British prime minister to be chosen and then seek talks.
“We don’t want a hard Brexit. That is not good for either side. We have a good exit agreement,” she said, referring to a deal that has been rejected by both candidates to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May.
The three-year Brexit crisis is deepening as Boris Johnson, the favourite to win the premiership, has pledged to leave the EU with or without a transition deal on October 31st, setting Britain on a collision course with both the EU and his own parliament.
British parliamentarians earlier this week approved proposals to make it harder for the next prime minister to force through a no-deal Brexit by suspending parliament, showing again their resolve to stop a divorce from the EU without an agreement.
Von der Leyen said: “If our British friends have good grounds for an extension, I am open to listening to them.”
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