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No Brexit Extension Unless No Election Or New Referendum in UK: Taoiseach

BRUSSELS – EU leaders will not sanction another Brexit extension unless the UK holds a general election or second referendum, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has warned.
Taoiseach “politely” told the leader of the Labor Party, Jeremy Corybn during a meeting, that there is a stronger vision throughout the European Union, Reuters reported Friday.
He also stressed that the replacement of Theresa May as Prime Minister will not be able to renegotiate the support since the retirement agreement is “closed”.
“The chances of an additional extension are very slim,” said Varadkar.
The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the EU on October 31, with or without an agreement.
Mr. Corbyn was in Dublin yesterday for a series of meetings with politicians and President Michael D Higgins.
He has been under increasing pressure to back a second referendum but so far he says he will only do so if the Commons approve a Brexit agreement.
It happens that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, said that he has great respect for the leader in the race to take charge of number 10 of Downing Street, Boris Johnson.
Mr. Trump, who will visit the United Kingdom and Ireland next week, refused to say who he supports among the different candidates of the Conservative Party to succeed Mrs. May.
“Nigel Farage is a friend of mine, Boris is a friend of mine,” Trump said yesterday.
“I like … however, I have not thought about supporting them.
“Maybe it’s not my business to support people, but I have a lot of respect for both men.”
It is expected that Ms. May leave office on June 7. Johnson has said that Britain must be prepared to enact Brexit without an agreement to force the EU to offer better conditions.
However, Mr. Varadkar has indicated that a new Prime Minister should not go to Brussels to try to negotiate a new retirement agreement.
He said there is a very narrow set of circumstances under which the EU will consider any changes to the document agreed with Ms. May.
“The only way it could change is if there was a fundamental change in the red lines of the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom or the Government of the United Kingdom, for example, a decision to remain in the customs union or in the single market,” said Taoiseach.
He added that “potentially” there could be an additional extension if there was a general election in the United Kingdom or a second referendum.
But ominously, Mr. Varadkar told the leader of the Opposition: “I do not think it is feasible to believe that there is sufficient or unanimous support, since that is what is required in the European Council for an extension, while the Kingdom United continues to solve it or for another set of indicative votes.”
Taoiseach “strongly emphasized” that the withdrawal agreement, including the Irish protocol, is “closed”.
He reaffirmed the position held in Brussels that changes can be made to the political declaration that sets the limits for a future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom.
Corbyn said yesterday that the contest of conservative leaders, and the possibility that a “fan without agreement” to become Prime Minister, means that the problem must be public.
But in a sign that he would be willing to work with conservative moderates to avoid a Brexit without agreement, possibly presenting a motion of confidence to overthrow the government, Corbyn said he would do “whatever it takes.”
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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