At their special meeting in Brussels, EU leaders agreed to delay UK’s withdrawal from the European Union until October 31.
According to President Dalia Grybauskaitė, who attended the summit, the European Union gave the United Kingdom additional time to resolve internal political disagreements over Brexit.
European leaders emphasized that the extension cannot negatively affect EU institutions. If the UK does not ratify the withdrawal agreement by May 22, it will be required to hold European parliamentary elections.
The European Council stressed in its conclusions that there will be no opening of the withdrawal agreement. During the extension, the United Kingdom will remain a member state with full rights and obligations. EU member states and the UK undertake to act in the spirit of goodwill and mutual respect.
According to the President, it is essential that the UK should use this extension in a constructive way to reach decisions of key importance for the future of all British people.
The United Kingdom is not only a major economic partner of the European Union, the President said, but also an integral part of Europe’s security architecture, a committed ally who leads NATO’s forward presence battle group in Estonia, and an active contributor to defense and deterrence measures aimed at protecting the Baltic States. It is therefore in the interests of Lithuania and other EU member countries to maintain close, friendly and long-lasting relations with the United Kingdom.
Effective collaboration built on good faith is also important to ensure the continuity of the rights and guarantees for Lithuanian and EU citizens living the United Kingdom.