Brexit: Article 50 Period Extension Procedure - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:59 pm on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Minister of State (Department for Exiting the European Union) 6:59 pm, 18th March 2019

The noble Baroness stated that we will not leave on 29 March. Of course, she cannot say that definitely. UK law still requires that we do, and any extension—which we have said we will apply for—has to be agreed unanimously by the European Council. She asked about the European elections; I will give her a detailed answer. EU law requires European parliamentary elections to be held between 23 and 26 May, and the new European Parliament will meet on 2 July. For the UK to participate in the elections, notice of the poll must be published by 12 April. This is set out in Schedule 1 of the European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004. In advance of this date—in other words, by 11 April—the Government would have to set the date of the poll by making an order under the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002.