Ursula von der Leyen was heckled by Brexit Party MEPs as she said she was 'ready' to further delay the UK's departure from the EU as she tried to persuade the European Parliament to make her the bloc's next boss.
Ms von der Leyen faces a crunch vote this afternoon when she will need to win the support of a majority of MEPs in order to be installed as Jean-Claude Juncker's replacement.
But the difficulty of the task facing the outgoing German defence minister was highlighted by the moment when she said she would be open to pushing back Brexit beyond the current October 31 deadline.
Ms von der Leyen prompted applause from Nigel Farage and his grouping of 29 MEPs as she said the UK had voted to leave the EU in 2016.
But they then switched to heckling and howls of derision as she confirmed her willingness to postpone Brexit past Halloween.
She said of the 2016 referendum result: 'This is a serious decision. We regret it but we respect it. Since then together with the current government of the UK the EU has worked hard to organise the orderly departure of the UK.
"The Withdrawal agreement concluded with the government of the UK provides certainty where Brexit created uncertainty
'In preserving the rights of citizens and in preserving peace and stability on the island of Ireland, these two priorities are mine too.
'However, I stand ready for further extension of the withdrawal date should more time be required for a good reason.
Brexit Party MEPs could then be heard shouting 'No!' as Mrs von der Leyen's comments prompted a smattering of applause from other parts of the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.
She added: 'In any case the United Kingdom will remain our ally, our partner and our friend.'
Ursula von der Leyen prompted howls of derision from Brexit Party MEPs this morning as she said she was open to a further Brexit delay
Brexit Party MEPs could be heard shouting 'No!' as Mrs von der Leyen floated the idea of delaying the UK's departure past the current October 31 deadline
Her latest interverntion on Brexit came a day after she said she would be willing to agree to another Brexit delay but only if there was a 'good reason' to do so, like a general election or second referendum to break the deadlock in the UK.
Her comments will be seen as a major boost for Remain campaigners because they suggest a No Deal divorce is not necessarily inevitable.
Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have kept No Deal as an option as they battle to suceed Theresa May.
But while Mr Hunt as said he is open to a small further delay, Mr Johnson has promised to deliver Brexit 'do or die' and with or without a deal on October 31.
Mrs von der Leyen will need to win tat least 374 out of 747 votes at a secret ballot this afternoon if she is to be Mr Juncker's replacement.
But she is far from a lock for the top job with widespread discontent among MEPs over the way in which she was selected.
The Christian Democrat of the European People's Party has promised parliamentarians she will put climate and social issues at the heart of her programme over the