On 21 March 2019, European Council (Article 50) published their conclusions, following a meeting discussing the UK’s request to extend the Article 50 process. The key conclusions are as follows:
- the European Council approves the instrument supplementing the draft Withdrawal Agreement agreed at Strasbourg on 11 March 2019;
- if the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons next week, the European Council agrees to an extension of Article 50 until 22 May 2019;
- if the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the House of Commons next week, the European Council agrees to an extension until 12 April 2019 and expects the UK to indicate a way forward before this date; and
- the draft Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened for renegotiation.
Speaking after the day’s discussions, Donald Tusk commented that:
“The UK Government will still have a choice of a deal, no-deal, a long extension or revoking Article 50. The 12 April is a key date in terms of the UK deciding whether to hold European Parliament elections. If it has not decided to do so by then, the option of a long extension will automatically become impossible.”