EU calls crisis summit, warns of no-deal Brexit

AFP , Friday 29 Mar 2019

The European Union on Friday, summoned leaders to an extraordinary summit, warning that Britain is now "likely" to crash out of the bloc on April 12 without a Brexit deal.

"In view of the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons, I have decided to call a European Council on 10 April," tweeted Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council.

Almost immediately after the House of Commons voted to reject the withdrawal agreement, an EU Council official said Brexit would be postponed until April 12, as decided at a summit last week.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to draw up an alternative plan for an orderly Brexit before then, and will be asked to present it to her 27 EU colleagues at the emergency summit.

"We expect the UK to indicate a way forward before then, well in time for the European Council to consider," the Council source said, adding that May would be invited to "the beginning of the meeting."

Separately, a spokeswoman for the European Commission -- the bloc's executive -- increased pressure on London to come up with a plan for an orderly Brexit by warning of an abrupt divorce.

"A 'no-deal' scenario on 12 April is now a likely scenario. The EU has been preparing for this since December 2017 and is now fully prepared for a no-deal scenario at midnight on April 12," she said.

"The EU will remain united. The benefits of the Withdrawal Agreement, including a transition period, will in no circumstances be replicated in a no-deal scenario. Sectoral mini-deals are not an option."

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