According to analysts, there can be some benefits for the UK is there is an extension of Brexit talks even as the United Kingdom and the European Union are still to come to an agreement over the impending divorce between the two.
“An extension (to the Brexit deadline) beyond three months would make Brexit more Europeanized,” Alberto Alemanno, a European law professor at HEC University in Paris, said at an event in London last Thursday.
“The discussion would be different.”
What he meant was that there could be a more fragmented and diverse voices to policy making at the EU after the upcoming elections at the EU in May. It is being expected that parties that have supported voices against the institution and broader EU policies would be do well in the EU elections in May as a wave of anti-EU sentiment sweep across a number of the 28 member states of the EU.
This can also create an environment in support of renegotiation of the Brexit deal which is set to be officially implemented in March 29 this year.
“The new (set) of European politicians will speak a different language,” Alemanno said. “We will have a different EU.”
Moreover, the next president of the European Commission and what its team will look like would also be partially decided by the European Parliament. Hence the results of the election would have a direct implication on the formation of the next commission.
There is option with the UK to ask for an extension of the setting in of Brexit for further negotiations but such requests would have to be unanimously approved by the other 27 EU countries. According to some reports, the EU has a general willingness to allow more time for arriving at a divorce deal.
“A longer extension keeps more options open for the British,” Rem Korteweg, head of the Europe in the World unit at think tank Clingendael, told the media. “The EU will only accept a long extension if it is clear what a long extension would lead to. As long as that is unclear — and at the moment it is not — the EU will not agree to anything longer than three months,” he added.
“A legal headache would arise if the two sides wanted to extend past the beginning of July, which is when the new European Parliament would take up its seats, as neither side expects the U.K. to participate in May’s European elections,” Constantine Fraser, a European analyst at TS Lombard, also told the media. “But the two sides’ lawyers are already looking at how this could be managed, and if a longer extension was clearly needed the two sides would almost certainly work something out.”
There are two choices for the WU – it can either allow an extension for arriving at a deal on Brexit and thereby avoiding the implications of a no-deal Brexit or deny extension so that it can focus on the election.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)