'Our hearts are still open':EU president on Brexit reversal
Strasbourg, Jan 16: In a fresh suggestion that Brexit could be reversed, European Union President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday that the bloc's "hearts are still open" to Britain if it changes its mind about leaving.
Noting that Brexit was due to happen in March 2019 "unless there is a change of heart among our British friends," Tusk told the European Parliament: "We on the continent haven't had a change of heart. Our hearts are still open to you."
In a referendum on 23 June 2016, 51.9% of the participating UK electorate voted to leave the EU. On 29 March 2017, the UK government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union. The UK is thus due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK would not seek permanent membership of the single market or the customs union after leaving the EU and promised to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and incorporate existing European Union law into UK domestic law. A new government department, the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), was created in July 2016, with Eurosceptic David Davis appointed its first Secretary of State. Negotiations with the EU officially started in June 2017.