Foreign Policy Digital

Brussels Bets a Delay Until Halloween Will Spook Britons into Staying

With support for Brexit eroding, EU leaders hope the long postponement will kill the plan for good.

By postponing Brexit until Halloween, European Union leaders are hoping to spook a majority of Britons into remaining in the EU.  

After British Prime Minister Theresa May appealed for more time to persuade Parliament to back her unloved withdrawal agreement, European leaders handed down the new date of Oct. 31 on Wednesday following a long evening of negotiations—from which May herself was largely excluded—ignoring her pleas for a short extension until June 30.

Eroding public support for Brexit—as well as a massive pro-EU march in London last month and a dramatic “SOS” message projected on the white cliffs of Dover against a background of an EU flag—were key factors in the EU’s decision to delay Britain’s departure in the hope that the United Kingdom will change its mind. And some British officials say the six-month postponement could well work.

“I have always said that if

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Foreign Policy Digital

Foreign Policy Digital8 min readPolitics
Xinjiang’s New Slavery
“Employment: Yarkant County satellite factory [for] persons in detention or reeducation.” The spreadsheet, obtained from a cache of local government files, lists the employment status of nearly 2,000 Uighurs—but the 148 entries that carry this partic
Foreign Policy Digital6 min readPolitics
U.S. Bureaucratic Blunder Could Cost Somalia Desperately Needed Debt Relief
U.S. ambassador considers resigning over the issue, which could harm U.S. anti-terrorism mission and aid programs there, officials say.
Foreign Policy Digital7 min readPolitics
Democratic Frontrunners Are Wrong About Aid for Israel
Putting America’s annual $3.8 billion of military assistance to Israel on the chopping block makes for good politics. But it makes no sense for U.S. national security.