T-8 and Counting: EU Agrees to Extend Article 50 to May 22, Possibly April 11
The UK has 8 days left in which to do something the EU will accept. Right now, the only option on the table is the binary choice Theresa May wanted all along: her deal or no deal.
The Guardian Politics Live blog reports Leaked EU Draft Agrees to Extension to May 22 if MPs Back May's Deal.
As I was typing, this just came in:
Apparently, short means short. If so, thank you president Macron. The shorter the extension, the more likely a had brext happens. And that is a good thing.
Operation Yellowhammer Nuclear Bunker
EU Hardens Position
Norway Plus Question of the Day
I like that question, and more importantly the answer.
Every day Eurointelligence presumes the answer is yes, not "hard to know". Consider this snip from today.
In our view, the deal vs no-deal cliff-edge is probably the closest we are likely to get to an orderly Brexit. The most useful thing the European Council can do today is to make it clear to the UK parliament that a decision against the treaty would invariably bring about a no-deal Brexit unless it can simultaneously agree on an acceptable alternative. The European Council should also be clear that the withdrawal treaty and political declaration remain compatible with Labour’s version of a customs union or a Norway-style, if the preference of the UK parliament were to change subsequently. It would really be useful for the European Council to take the guessing out of the game.
That's quite a statement given it's blatant interference. Moreover, may not even be true. In fact, I doubt it is. I have talked about Norway Plus a number of times, most recently in Brexit and the Three Pigs: A Modern Fairy Tale
The [Norway Plus] plan was rejected by Heidi Nordby Lunde, an MP in Norway’s governing Conservative party, and leader of Norway’s European movement. She said her views reflected those of the governing party even though the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, has been more diplomatic by saying Norway would examine a UK application.
Lunde told the Guardian: “Really, the Norwegian option is not an option. We have been telling you this for one and a half years since the referendum and how this works, so I am surprised that after all these years it is still part of the grown-up debate in the UK.
“If, as I understand, UK politicians do not want to be ruled by regulations coming from other countries, why would they accept a country with 38,000 citizens like Liechtenstein being able to veto regulations that the UK wants. That would be the reality.”
Would Norway allow it? The answer seems to be no, and it isn't just Norway. The EU would have to agree. Alternatively, the EU could crafty a separate deal, but all EU nations would have to agree to that. And the sticking point would be freedom of movement.
Meanwhile, I note there are only 8 days left. I also note that it might take months to hammer out a separate Norway agreement and that would require the UK to vote in the next EU parliament.
Politically speaking, it appears Eurointelligence is talking from what it would like to see, as opposed to political reality.
The Norway option may be dead, for numerous reasons, even if the UK wanted it.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock