German MEP Elmar Brok has told media that he believes it is possible that a request to extend Article 50 from the British government could be rejected, with Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini potentially playing a crucial role.
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Brok, who is a former Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, believes that it is possible that someone at the European Council could veto an extension.
It requires the unanimous signing off of everyone at the European Council, meaning a single veto could kill off the move and mean that the UK leaves on schedule, next Friday.
In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, Brok was asked about an extension being vetoed and said: “That must be done unanimously. And there are very different opinions. It even sets up the scenario, as Mr. Farage says, having already agreed with Salvini, the strongman of the Italian Government, that he will refuse any extension. And then the game is over.”
When asked about “collaboration” between Farage and Salvini, Brok says of Britain’s pro-Brexit MEP: “He himself claims that this is the case, that such agreements exist. I do not know if he’s just making a fuss about it now, or if that’s true.
“But if I see the policy of Salvini, I think that’s imaginable. As I said, the extension must be unanimous in the Council, in the European Council. And that is always in the unpredictable.”
And the German MEP also hinted that Italy’s Matteo Salvini could veto after the request from Nigel Farage in a speech.
Farage last week told the European Parliament that the Council should veto an extension otherwise he would be back after European Elections with“hordes of Eurosceptics”.
The British government may want to delay Brexit. But will European leaders unanimously agree? We’re about to find out.
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