EU Will Only Accept 'Credible' Reason For Delaying Brexit, Donald Tusk Says

© REUTERS / Stefan WermuthA traffic sign is seen in front of European and Union flags in London, Britain
A traffic sign is seen in front of European and Union flags in London, Britain - Sputnik International
The statement was issued just minutes after UK prime minister Theresa May's amended Brexit plan was crushed 242 to 391 on Tuesday evening.

A spokesperson for European Council president Donald Tusk said in a statement that the European Union would only extend Article 50 under a "reasoned" request. 

"Should there be a UK reasoned request for an extension, the EU27 will consider it and decide by unanimity," the spokesperson said. "The EU27 will expect a credible justification for a possible extension and its duration. The smooth functioning of the EU institutions will need to be ensured."

The headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium - Sputnik International
European Commission Regrets UK Parliament's Brexit Vote Outcome - Statement

MPs will vote on whether they will back a no-deal Brexit on March 29, with an embattled Mrs. May deciding against whipping Conservatives against a hard Brexit. Should MPs vote down the outcome, they will be allowed a vote on Thursday on extending Article 50.  

But the spokesperson clearly stated that the EU was not inclined to renegotiate with the British prime minister on her deal.

"We regret the outcome of tonight's vote and are disappointed that the UK government has been unable to ensure a majority for the Withdrawal Agreement agreed by both parties in November," the spokesperson added. "On the EU side we have done all that is possible to reach an agreement." 

The spokesperson said that due to the further assurances the EU provided the UK in December, January and on Tuesday, it was "difficult to see what more we can do", adding that future solutions to the Brexit impasse could "only be found in London".

A two Euro coin is pictured next to a one Pound coin on top of a portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in this file photo illustration shot March 16, 2016. - Sputnik International
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"I profoundly regret the decision that this House has taken tonight," the Prime Minister said shortly after the vote, adding that she continued to believe that the best outcome is that the UK left the EU "in an orderly fashion with a deal", and that her rejected plan was "the best and indeed the only deal available".

READ MORE: Good Luck Dear Friends! Europeans React to No-Deal, Extension Votes in London

Mrs. May's plan suffered a second crushing defeat by a margin of 149 votes, despite changes made to the deal in order to secure the government's fragile alliance between hardline Brexiteers and the Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, with the latter being offered £1bn in aid by the Prime Minister in 2018. Mrs. May attempted to persuade the coalition that Britain could unilaterally quit the Irish backstop in the event of a hard Brexit, but legal advice from UK attorney general Geoffrey Cox stated the contrary, adding that the UK would have "no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol's arrangements, save by agreement".

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