UK PM sends unsigned letter to EU asking for Brexit delay

By Elizabeth Piper and Kylie MacLellan

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson despatched an unsigned letter to the European Union on Saturday requesting a delay to Brexit however he additionally despatched one other message wherein he said he didn’t need the extension, a authorities supply mentioned.

Johnson was compelled by a legislation, handed by opponents final month, to ask the bloc for an extension to the present Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 till Jan. 31 after lawmakers thwarted his try to move his EU divorce deal earlier on Saturday.

The federal government supply mentioned Johnson despatched a complete of three letters to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council: a photocopy of the textual content that the legislation, referred to as the Benn Act, pressured him to jot down; a canopy notice from Britain’s EU envoy; and a 3rd letter wherein he mentioned he didn’t need an extension.

“I’ve made clear since turning into Prime Minister and made clear to parliament once more at this time, my view, and the Authorities’s place, {that a} additional extension would harm the pursuits of the UK and our EU companions, and the connection between us,” Johnson mentioned within the third letter, revealed on Twitter by the Monetary Instances’ Brussels correspondent.

Johnson mentioned he was assured that the method of getting the Brexit laws by Britain’s parliament could be accomplished earlier than Oct. 31, in keeping with the letter.

Tusk mentioned he had obtained the request from Johnson.

“I’ll now begin consulting EU leaders on find out how to react,” he mentioned on Twitter.

Johnson had hoped that Saturday would see recalcitrant lawmakers lastly again the divorce deal he agreed with EU leaders this week and finish three years of political impasse because the 2016 referendum vote to depart the bloc.

As an alternative, lawmakers voted 322 to 306 in favour of an modification that turned Johnson’s deliberate finale on its head by obliging him to ask the EU for a delay, and growing the chance for opponents to frustrate Brexit.

Johnson has beforehand promised that he would take the nation out of the bloc on Oct. 31, and would relatively be “lifeless in a ditch” than ask for any extension with out explaining how he would do that whereas additionally complying with the Benn Act. (Reporting by Michael Holden Modifying by William Schomberg)

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