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EU chief Donald Tusk to reportedly offer flexible 12-month Brexit extension to UK

European Council President Donald Tusk has proposed to allow the U.K. the flexibility to leave the EU whenever British lawmakers approve and ratify a deal within the 12-month period.

European Council President Donald Tusk has proposed allowing the U.K. a 12-month “flexible” extension to leave the European Union, the BBC reported on Friday.

Citing a senior EU source, the BBC said leaders of the political and economic bloc would need to agree to Tusk’s plan at a summit next week.

Tusk’s proposal would allow the U.K. the flexibility to leave the EU whenever British lawmakers approve and ratify a deal within the 12-month period.

When asked about the BBC report, German Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “I hope that the British Parliament will be able to take a decision and that the government and the British Parliament will have something to present to the European Union.”

“Hopefully, in the end we will have an agreement, because this is the best outcome for all the things that are going to happen,” he told CNBC.

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said the U.K. needs to have a very good reason to ask for another extension.

“If we are not able to understand the reason of why the U.K. is asking for an extension, we can’t give a positive answer,” he told CNBC’s Silvia Amaro in Bucharest Friday.

The process to take the U.K. officially out of the EU began two years ago, but has yet to be finalized. U.K. parliamentarians have so far rejected the deal that Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU three times.

At the moment, the U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU on April 12 and will be the first country to leave the bloc. However, May said Tuesday she is going to ask for another short extension, until May 22, as she seeks to find a way forward with the country’s opposition party.

May is expected to write to opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to lay out her administration’s offer on Brexit, the Guardian reported on Thursday. The letter would include a proposal to offer lawmakers the option to hold a referendum on any Brexit deal, the report said.

source: CNBC