Britain was offered an extension to Brexit that could permit the country to postpone its EU departure date before Halloween by european Union leaders on Thursday.

Critics of the 27 remaining EU member nations met for more than six hours prior to agreeing following midnight to postpone Brexit until Oct. 31, two officials said.

The officers spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to talk about the closed-door discussions. European Council President Donald Tusk confirmed an extension had been agreed to, however, that date was not disclosed by him.

Tusk was meeting May, that had sought until June 30, to determine if she’d agree to the offer.

Its own leaders spent a lengthy dinner meeting spat over to give a push over the border to the nation whether to rescue Britain in a precipitous and potentially Brexit just two days before Britain was expected to depart the EU.

May pleaded with them at an emergency summit to delay Britain’s exit, due on Friday, to get a couple more months while the U.K. types out the mess that Brexit continues to be.

A warning notice struck, although some were shaky.

“Nothing is picked,” Macron said as he arrived at the summit, according to”clarity” from May on what Britain wants.

“What is crucial is that nothing must undermine the European project in the months ahead,” he said.

May considers that a June 30 deadline is plenty of time for Britain’s Parliament to ratify a Brexit offer and pass the laws required for a Brexit.

But lawmakers have rejected her divorce bargain three occasions, and attempts to forge a compromise with her opponents have yet to bear fruit.

Before they met for dinner without her to pick the destiny of Britain may talked to the 27 EU leaders for more than one hour. Compared to a recent summits, there were indications of even comedy and warmth. May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were filmed laughing over a tablet bearing a picture showing the two of them speaking on Wednesday sporting coats that were similar.

Many leaders said they were likely to give a Brexit delay, after hearing May discuss, although Macron had reservations. An official at the French president’s office said the British leader had not offered”sufficient guarantees” to justify a very long extension.

Macron is worried that letting Britain remain too long would distract the EU from other issues — notably next month’s European Parliament elections.

“The no-deal situation is a real alternative,” said the officer, who was not licensed to be publicly named according to presidential coverage. “Putting at risk the operation of Europe is not preferable to your no-deal.”

Others suggested a longer delay would be required, given the thickness of Britain disarray.

May indicated a longer extension would be accepted by her, so long as it contained a get-out-early cause should Britain end its Brexit impasse.

“What is significant is that any expansion enables us to leave at the point at which we ratify the withdrawal agreement,” May said as she arrived in Brussels.

She added that she had been optimistic it could be as soon a date because that would avoid the need for Britain to take part in elections for the European Parliament.

A few months have passed since May along with the EU struck a bargain laying out the outline of relations and the terms of the passing of Britain. All that was wanted was ratification from the European and British Parliaments.

But U.K. lawmakers rejected it — three times. As Britain’s departure date of March 29 approached with no resolution in sight, the EU gave Britain until Friday to accept that a withdrawal plan, change course and seek a further delay to Brexit, or crash from the EU with no price to cushion the shock.

Britain will leave the bloc Friday unless it cancels Brexit Wednesday if no extension materializes.

Business leaders and economists warn that a no-deal Brexit would lead to disruptions in travel and trade, with tariffs and customs checks causing gridlock at British ports and potential shortages of products.

A Brexit would damage Britain, as well as EU states, and most importantly wish to avoid it.

“I do not anticipate that the U.K. will abandon the Friday,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar explained. “I am very confident that there will be an expansion consented today. What is open is how long the expansion will be and also what the conditions will be.”

But the bloc’s patience is wearing thin.

Many leaders stated they would require assurances of behaviour.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the EU leaders’ decision will hinge “what her strategy is now to get that withdrawal agreement through Parliament, and also how we can get guarantees in the meantime that the United Kingdom will remain as a loyal spouse.”

The British government claims as it needs to maintain close ties it will not be obstructive. But British politicians have said Britain should be tumultuous. Conservative lawmaker Mark Francois reported that when the U.K. stayed at the bloc,”in return we’ll turn into a Trojan Horse within the EU.”

May’s potential is uncertain, regardless of the EU chooses.

She has said that”as prime minister” that she could not consent to allow Britain stay in the EU beyond June 30, and she has also promised to step down once Brexit is delivered. Conservative Party lawmakers would like her to stop and allow a new president take control of the next stage of Brexit. After she survived a no-confidence vote However they can’t force her out until the conclusion of the calendar year.

Every British initiative to find a bargain has floundered so far. Several days of discussions between May government and the main opposition Labour Party targeted at finding a compromise have failed to create a breakthrough. A Brexit that is milder is favored by labour than the government wishes to retain a close economic relationship with the bloc, and has proposed. Both sides said Thursday they’d resume their talks.

Ireland’s Varadkar, whose country shares a border with the U.K. and would be one of the hardest hit with a no-deal Brexit, said Britain was in”a tricky position.”

“It doesn’t need to leave with no deal; at the present time it does not wish to vote for your deal. And obviously a lot of folks, maybe half of the population, do not want to leave in any way,” he said.


Angela Charlton and associated Press writers Mike Corder at Danica Kirka in London Brussels and also Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed to this report.