EU leaders have agree to grant the UK six-month extension to Brexit, after five hours of long talks in Brussels.
The new deadline is scheduled for 31st October – irrespective of the prospect of the UK having to leave the EU without a deal on Friday, as MPs are still deadlocked over a deal.
EU Council president Donald Tusk said in a message “message to British friends” was “please do not waste this time“.
Theresa May, who had initially wanted a very short delay, said the UK would still aim to leave the EU soonest.
The UK must now hold EU elections in May, or leave on 1st June without a deal.
The prime minister had initially alerted the leaders that she wanted to move the UK’s exit date from this Friday to 30th June, with the option of leaving earlier if her withdrawal agreement was annulled by Parliament.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said “one government minister had told her that the delay could mean a Conservative Party leadership contest after Easter, with potentially a new prime minister by June“.