Donald Tusk says 'anything could be possible' after EU agrees Brexit delay

James Booth
European Council president Donald Tusk said the EU was hoping for the best with Brexit (Source: Getty)

European Council president Donald Tusk said the extension of Article 50 agreed last night at the EU summit in Brussels meant any Brexit outcome was possible.

Tusk told a press conference on the second day of the summit that the delay of the Brexit date until 12 April meant "anything could be possible: a deal, a long extension if the UK decides to rethink its strategy or decides to revoke Article 50".

Read more: Business groups call on May to use extension to avoid no-deal Brexit

"At the EU we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best,” he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "We have, for the time being, prevented a no-deal Brexit for the 29th.

"But these are very short periods of time, so Britain will have to make clear yet again which path it wishes to pursue.

"With the debate we had yesterday night, we proved yet again that what we have done for the past two years will continue to apply, because as 27 member states, we work together and act together."

Meanwhile, the government is reportedly considering giving MPs a vote on seven possible Brexit options, although it has denied the reports.

According to Sky News plans are being worked on to give MPs the choice between a second referendum, revoking Article 50, May’s deal, May’s deal plus a customs union, the deal with a customs union and single market access, a free-trade agreement or a no-deal Brexit.

Reaction from MPs ranged from cautious approval to strident criticism.

Read more: Goldman Sachs says no-deal Brexit has become more likely

Remain-voting former Tory minister Nick Boles tweeted: “Any indication of government cooperation with Parliament is welcome. BUT MPs supporting the different options must be in charge of defining them and control the drafting of the motions. Otherwise they will be setting us up to fail.”

Labour MP Lucy Powell tweeted: “I would be highly suspicious that the government is deliberately muddying the waters here to ensure nothing gets majority and takes us back to her deal.”

Brexit-supporting Tory Mp Marcus Fysh tweeted: “This is the most ludicrous, childish and unrealistic idea I have ever seen. Utterly unfit.”

Another Brexit-backing Conservative Michael Fabricant tweeted: “If this is true, has Theresa May now decided to declare open war on ALL her back benchers following her ill advised statement last Wednesday night?”

Read more: Midnight crisis: EU leaders offer two new Brexit delay deadlines