EU's Verhofstadt Says Impossible to Extend Brexit Beyond May 23

(Bloomberg) -- European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said view of the assembly is that any extension of the Brexit process should not go beyond the bloc’s legislative elections slated for May 23-26.

“The message of the European Parliament is that it’s impossible to have an extension beyond May 23,” Verhofstadt told reporters in Brussels on Thursday. A delay later than the European Union ballot “that would create an enormous problem,” he said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday urged U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May against requesting a prolongation beyond the EU elections, according to commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva. May formally proposed delaying Britain’s exit from the EU until June 30. EU leaders will discuss the issue today at a summit in Brussels.

“It’s time we conclude this whole negotiation,” Verhofstadt said. “We don’t want in the coming months, coming years to be busy with Brexit; we want to be busy with the renewal of the European Union.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.