October 28, 2019
EU diplomats have said the third Brexit delay would come with earlier departure dates possible should Britain’s Parliament ratify the separation deal. PHOTO: AFP
BRUSSELS (REUTERS) – European Council President Donald Tusk said on Monday (Oct 28) that the 27 countries that will remain in the European Union after Britain leaves agreed to accept London’s request for a Brexit extension until 31 January 2020.
“The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK’s request for a Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020,” Tusk said in a tweet.
Tusk also said the decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure, which means EU leaders will not have to meet in person to formalise it.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government on Sunday stepped up pressure on Britain’s lawmakers to back early election to break the impasse on Brexit three years after Britons voted to leave the EU.
A Downing Street source said the government would consider options including those proposed by opposition parties, after the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Liberal Democrats (LD) said they wanted a new poll on Dec 9.
“We’re hoping it will be smooth,” an EU official said on Monday. “Sounds like the LD/SNP thing over the weekend gave them (the French) comfort an election was on its way.”
EU diplomats told Reuters on Sunday the third Brexit delay would come with earlier departure dates possible should Britain’s Parliament ratify the separation deal.
The plan envisages that Britain could also be out on Dec 1 or Jan 1 should Parliament ratify the agreement in November or December, respectively, according to diplomats in Brussels.
Should all the ambassadors agree, there will be a short period – less than 24 hours and possibly as little as several hours – during which national capitals could still object. If no issues are raised, the decision will have been taken.