, 12 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
EU leaders PM speaking to today have little expectation of a breakthrough in the cross-party talks with Jeremy Corbyn ahead of emergency #Brexit summit on Wednesday /1
EU leaders think it good idea to be in contact already now. PM doesn't have a good track record of performing 'on the night' at summits. She just spoke to Dutch PM Rutte. They'll talk again Weds morning before summit starts. Translation: No room for any more misunderstandings /2
EU leaders must come to unanimous conclusion on PM's extension request. But countries are divided. So Belgian PM has asked inner core of Most Affected Nations (affected by #Brexit ) eg Germany France, Netherlands to meet just before summit. An attempt to iron out differences /3
May's trip tomorrow to Germany and France is seen in EU circles as a bit of a show. Leaders cant be seen to refuse her request to pop by. But EU view is the trips would make real sense if PM actually had something concrete to present eg a breakthrough in Corbyn talks but .. /4
PM will likely want to ask Merkel and Macron what conditions the EU might attach to an extension beyond insisting on UK preparing to take part in European Parliamentary elections. May will likely warn if conditions too tough, she may be unable to sell back home /5
BUT what conditions can EU legally impose? Much is being talked about political commitments fo 'good behaviour' as long as UK remains an EU member (eg as long as extension lasts) ie not blocking or abstaining from key decisions like EU budget/electing new EU Commission Chief /6
One possible condition is to say this extension is the LAST one. This is what Donald Tusk suggests with his one- off flextension idea: - lasting one year (some say 9mths) with UK able to leave ahead of time, as soon as ratifies #Brexit deal /7
BUT never say never, I think. EU main concern is that - if UK leaves - it leaves with a deal. If it were asked for a further extension I can't imaging it being a flat-out, immediate NO. Though EU die a little on the inside at the thought of it /8
Big problem for EU leaders is they're beginning to lose credibility back home over the ever-lengthening #Brexit process + their agreement to keep can-kicking. Esp in countries where businesses/citizens/international investment most affected by ongoing Brexit uncertainty /9
Despite media reports, Emmanuel Macron is unlikely to stand alone amongst EU leaders and refuse extension. Hard to refuse PM when -on paper- she's doing her best now: cross party talks and agreeing to EU condition of preparing European parliamentary elections /10
It suits Macron ahead of EP elex to put his "Defender of Europe' hat on + it suits other EU countries for him to play 'bad cop' in #Brexit process but he alone wouldnt want to be responsible to bring no deal to Calais or to the Irish border /11
EU leaders suspect (and resent) that the PM wants them to do her 'dirty work' for her at the #Brexit summit - ie offering UK a flexible long extension (she almost definitely needs) after she asked them for a short one - which was less politically painful for her at home /12
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