Brexit has been delayed until Halloween
Trick or treat!
That's the situation that Britain and Europe will be facing this Halloween because Brexit has been delayed until 31 October after the EU granted an extension.
The agreement has been defined as a "flexible extension" and Theresa May has said that the European Union also granted her “key request” to add an early exit clause to its agreement of a six-month Brexit extension.
Essentially, the UK can still leave the EU before 31 October, but only if MPs back May's withdrawal deal. However, the European Council have reiterated that there can be no reopening of the withdrawal agreement negotiations.
As part of the agreement, the UK "must hold the elections to the European Parliament" and if it fails to do this, the UK will have to leave on 1 June.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, confirmed the news via a statement on Twitter which said: "EU27/UK have agreed a flexible extension until 31 October. This means additional six months for the UK to find the best possible solution".
The European Council will remain seized of the matter and will review progress at its meeting in June.
Leo Varadkar has said that the UK must now hold European elections in May, or leave on 1 June without a deal.
The Taoiseach said: "(1) Flextension to Oct 31st (2) We’ll take stock of situation at our regular summit in June (3) UK to take part in European Parliament election or must leave on June 1st without a deal. Good night!"
And we’re done. (1) Flextension to Oct 31st (2) We’ll take stock of situation at our regular summit in June (3) UK to take part in @Europarl_EN election or must leave on June 1st without a deal.
Good night !
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) April 11, 2019
EU27/UK have agreed a flexible extension until 31 October. This means additional six months for the UK to find the best possible solution.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) April 10, 2019
The decision heads off a no-deal exit this Friday, May had earlier told leaders she wanted to move the UK's exit date from this Friday to 30 June, with the option of leaving earlier if her withdrawal agreement was ratified by Parliament.
Significantly, the extension provides just enough time for a second referendum to be held, 24 weeks exactly - although this appears unlikely to happen.
Speaking with reporters, May said: "I know that there is huge frustration from many people that I had to request this extension.
"The UK should have left the EU by now and I sincerely regret the fact that I have not yet been able to persuade Parliament to approve a deal. I do not pretend the next few weeks will be easy, or there is a simple way to break the deadlock in Parliament. But we have a duty as politicians to find a way to fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward. Nothing is more pressing or more vital".