New Commission chief von der Leyen​ prepared to grant UK Brexit extension

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.” 

Read Also: European Parliament formally elects Ursula von der Leyen as head of European Commission

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon

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