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Brexit: EU formally adopts Article 50 extension to Jan 31

Brexit: EU formally adopts Article 50 extension to Jan 31

Donald Tusk - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - 'Make the best use of this time", EU Council president Donald Tusk told the United Kingdom Tuesday, as the EU formally extended the period under Article 50 in which Britain can withdraw from the EU.

The formal adoption comes as the British House of Commons debates a bill to pave the way for a general election in December.

The EU's extension will last until 31 January 2020 to allow more time for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement. The withdrawal can take place earlier on 1 December 2019 or 1 January 2020, if the withdrawal agreement is ratified by both parties.

For the duration of the extension the United Kingdom remains an EU Member State with all the rights and obligations set out in the treaties and under EU law.

The decision was taken unanimously by the European Council by written procedure, with the agreement of the UK.

The agreement was set out in a letter from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to President of the European Council Donald Tusk. The European Council also agreed a declaration accompanying the decision.

The decision follows British prime minister Boris Johnson's decision to pause the process of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, and in order to avoid the no-deal Brexit which the EU, and Mr Johnson say they do not want .

European Council decision taken in agreement with the United Kingdom extending the period under Article 50(3)TEU

Declaration of the European Council (Article 50)

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