Brexit: “extremely unlikely” extension will face veto

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said that it is “extremely unlikely” that one of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) could veto any proposal to grant Britain a longer extension to strike a Brexit deal, according to a Saturday report by a local TV channel RTE.

His remarks came just a few days before the European Council, the top decision-making body of the EU, is scheduled to hold a summit meeting to decide on whether the request by the British Prime Minister Theresa May to seek a further extension of Brexit to June 30 should be granted or not.

Speaking on a TV program of RTE, Varadkar acknowledged that there is increasing frustration in some of the EU member states such as Malta and Lithuania, which believe that Brexit is taking up an increasing amount of time while the EU has many other things on its agenda which need to be addressed.

But he believed that while everything is possible it is “extremely unlikely” that any of the EU member states would veto the proposal to grant Britain a longer extension at the coming summit of the European Council scheduled on next Wednesday despite the growing frustrated sentiments among some of the EU members.

He called for solidarity, patience and understanding among the EU members while dealing with Britain over the Brexit issue.

If any of the EU member states was to veto an extension, which as a result would cause hardship on Ireland as well as the Netherlands, Belgium and France, “they wouldn’t be forgiven for it”, he said.

Any such country would know they might find themselves on the other end of that particular veto power in the future, he added.

Under the current decision-making mechanism of the EU, any decisions made by the EU require an unanimous agreement among its member states, or in other words, any EU member state has the right to veto the decisions made by the EU.