PM Rinne statement: give Britain more time for Brexit

EU leaders are now deciding on whether to give the UK extra time to get its act together on Brexit.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne talks to media on EU issues, Helsinki 15th October 2019 / Credit: Viivi Myllylä, VNK

Finland’s Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) says he thinks the UK government should be allowed to have more time to figure out its Brexit strategy.

Rinne made the comments in a statement on Sunday afternoon, the day after Britain’s Parliament rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s latest deal with the EU on a formal Withdrawal Agreement for Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Britain is set to leave the EU at the end of October but Members of Parliament voted to force Johnson to request an extension from EU countries.

“Finland, along with other EU countries, attached great important to the approval of the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the United Kingdom. Avoiding a no-deal departure is in the interests of both the EU and the British citizens and businesses” says Rinne.

“I think it makes sense to allow extra time and hope that the Withdrawal Agreement in the UK is moving forward” he adds.

Boris Johnson has sent an unsigned letter to the European Council asking for a delay the departure date – he was required to do this by UK law. But he also sent a second signed letter to the European Council saying there would be a “corrosive impact” if Brexit was delayed an more.

All 27 other EU countries have to agree on any extension to the Brexit deadline.