Boris Johnson has sent a letter to the EU requesting a Brexit extension – but urged European leaders to reject the delay.The Prime Minister is understood to have sent an unsigned photocopy of a delay request, distancing himself by stressing it is “Parliament’s letter” and not his.
He also sent a covering letter making clear he does not want an extension calling the idea “deeply corrosive”, as well as individual letters to the heads of each EU27 country encouraging them to say no to a delay.
Mr Johnson hopes to force through his Brexit deal by relying on the EU to turn down an extension after he suffered a significant defeat in the House of Commons on Saturday.
MPs voted by 322 to 306 in favour of an amendment brought by former Cabinet minister Sir Oliver Letwin that withholds Parliament’s approval for the PM’s deal until legislation to implement it is in place.
In practice this meant the PM was obliged by law – the Benn Act – to ask the EU for a delay to the Brexit deadline by 11pm on Saturday night.
The Prime Minister wrote to MPs saying he would get around this by sending the letter but telling the EU that “further delay is not a solution”.
EU Council President Donald Tusk said he had received the letter and would consult with European leaders, after tweeting earlier that he was “waiting for” the document.
Amid noisy Commons scenes, Mr Johnson insisted he was not “daunted or dismayed” by the result of today’s vote and remained committed to taking Britain out by October 31.
“I will not negotiate a delay with the EU, neither does the law compel me to do so,” he said.The Conservative Party confirmed the PM’s stance in a tweet.
source: George Martin (Yahoo News UK)