The U.K.’s Brexit extension request should serve to a “purpose”, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said on Tuesday.
Michael Barnier urged the U.K. to explain what it wants to gain through the postponement process of Brexit.
"Extension should serve a purpose and length should be proportional to the objective," he told a news conference held after the EU's General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg.
"The withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation," Barnier said.
He pointed out that the EU would be ready to update a political declaration which will determine future relations of both parties in a way to include a customs union if the U.K requested.
Emphasizing that the EU preferred an orderly withdrawal, Barnier said: "No-deal leave will never be the EU's choice. The U.K needs to agree to a deal in order to avoid no-deal."
- EU leaders to discuss Brexit
On March 5, the British Prime Minister Theresa May sent a letter to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, urging extension of Brexit to June 30.
The European leaders decided to discuss May's demand, hence gathering in Brussels on Wednesday.
The British parliament has so far rejected May's Brexit divorce deal for three times.
May said that the U.K. will push for ratification to make possible May 23 as the departure date, but if this is not possible, it will make necessary preparations to take part in the upcoming European Parliament elections, set for that day.
The U.K. is due to leave the bloc on April 12 -- pushed back last month from March 29 -- but the House of Commons has yet to agree on the withdrawal agreement reached with the EU.
By Serife Cetin in Brussels