MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United Kingdom will have to hold the European Parliament election scheduled for 23-26 May if it remains in the European Union in May, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said on Thursday.
"In terms of a legal position: if we are a member of the European Union, then under treaty law we will be required to have European parliamentary elections", Barclay said, addressing members of the UK parliament.
At the same time, he pointed out that holding the EU election three years after the country’s citizens decided to leave the bloc would be damaging to UK politics.
The UK government and Brussels reached a divorce deal late last year, but the UK parliament has refused to back the deal without agreeing on any alternative measures. The country was supposed to have left the bloc on 29 March but missed the deadline. The European Union gave London until 12 April to either come up with an alternative solution or leave the bloc without a deal on that day.
European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union Michel Barnier said that London would have to provide Brussels with sufficient reason if it wanted another extension.