The British government must be quick to make it clear exactly what they want to achieve by delaying Brexit, the visibly frustrated Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters on Thursday evening.
British MPs voted on Thursday for a delay to Brexit past March 29, but that will need the backing of all 27 other EU member countries to go ahead.
Rutte said the EU has pressing issues of its own to deal with. ‘And what point is there to keep on whining at each other, when we have been going round in circles for two years,’ the Dutch prime minister said.
— Roel Schreinemachers (@RoelSchrein) March 14, 2019
It would solve many problems, he said, if Britain would stop drawing ‘red lines’. ‘If the British would say that Northern Ireland can remain in the internal market and remain in the EU for a time, then the problem is solved,’ he said.
‘If they say that in the future England would like to be part of the customs union, then the problem is solved. But they’ve already drawn red lines. British politicians must now make their position clear.’
Rutte said that he has no plans to intervene. ‘They chose to leave and if they want to delay they have to explain why,’ he said.
Rutte is holding talks with EU president Donald Tusk about the Brexit problems on Friday morning.
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