March 14, 2019 / 8:56 AM / 10 days ago

No more negotiations if Brexit delayed - EU lawmaker Hubner

FILE PHOTO: Danuta Hubner, chair of the constitutional committee of the European Parliament gestures during an interview in Brussels, Belgium April 24, 2017. Reuters/Eric Vidal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain will most likely get the European Union’s approval for a Brexit delay if it asks, but the bloc will not change its divorce deal during that time or negotiate future ties, European lawmaker Danuta Hubner said on Thursday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to push MPs to vote again on the EU divorce deal, which they have already rejected twice, before the exit date of March 29.

Hubner, who sits on a six-strong panel dealing with Brexit in the European Parliament, said the EU-UK divorce deal was final. Britain’s House of Commons was due to vote on Thursday on whether to seek an extension of Brexit negotiating time.

“There will not be a reopening of the agreement, there will not be more negotiations, this deal is final,” Hubner told Reuters.

“It is heading towards an extension,” she said. “But, in the absence of an approved deal by March 29, it is not clear on what basis and why to give them a short extension.”

Hubner said a longer extension until June 30 or even later would prolong Brexit uncertainty and cause legal and political problems around European Parliament elections due on May 24-26.

“The only upside would be if the UK changed its red lines and went for a customs union,” she said.

“These regular spectacles in the House of Commons, which seem to be leading nowhere, only deepen the exasperation and anxiety on the EU side.”

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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