|Tonight the European Council decided to grant the United Kingdom a flexible extension of the Article 50 period until the 31st of October. This means an additional 6 months for the UK. During this time, the course of action will be entirely in the UK’s hands. It can still ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, in which case the extension will be terminated. It can also reconsider the whole Brexit strategy. That might lead to changes in the Political Declaration, but not in the Withdrawal Agreement. Until the end of this period, the UK will also have the possibility to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit altogether.
The UK will continue its sincere cooperation as a full member state with all its rights, and as a close friend and trusted ally in the future.
Let me finish with a message to our British friends: this extension is as flexible as I expected, and a little bit shorter than I expected, but it’s still enough to find the best possible solution. Please do not waste this time.