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EU extension depends on British guarantees: Dutch PM

Published on April 08, 2019

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday any decision by the European Union to agree to another Brexit extension would depend on British “guarantees for loyal cooperation.”

“Just spoke to @theresa.may. The British Brexit extension will be discussed at the upcoming European Council,” Rutte tweeted.

“It is crucial to know when and on what basis the UK will ratify the withdrawal agreement. A positive decision also depends on guarantees from the United Kingdom for loyal cooperation,” he said.

May is hoping to have a deal to present to European leaders at an emergency summit on Wednesday, where she must secure another Brexit extension to prevent Britain leaving the bloc at the end of the week if there is no accord.

She has asked for a delay until June 30, but the decision has to be taken unanimously by Britain and the remaining 27 EU members.

Rutte — who has been one of the most outspoken EU leaders on Brexit — said “everyone has an interest in an orderly Brexit.”

Rutte said May agreed “that we will meet again on Wednesday prior to the European Council.”

Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned Britain that in case of a no-deal Brexit, the EU would not open trade talks until the question of the Irish border had been resolved.

Speaking in Dublin, Barnier added that EU would also not discuss anything with Britain until there was also an agreement on citizens’ rights and the financial settlement.

All three issues are covered by the withdrawal agreement, which was struck between British and EU negotiators in November but has been rejected by the British parliament.