EU mulls Johnson's reluctant Brexit delay request

EU mulls Johnson's reluctant Brexit delay request”

European Council President Donald Tusk received the two letters, as well as an accompanying note from British ambassador Tim Barrow, late on Saturday, the source said.

Britain's House of Commons last month passed a law demanding the government seek a delay until the end of January 2020 to avoid an abrupt split on October 31, if a divorce deal is not approved by Parliament by October 19.

At a special session of Parliament meant to ratify the deal, lawmakers voted 322-306 to withhold their approval on the Brexit deal until legislation to implement it has been passed.

Johnson has repeatedly ruled out asking European Union leaders for an extension to the Brexit deadline, and vowed to continue with his Brexit plans "unchanged" despite the setback.

Hours before the letter, British lawmakers voted for a key amendment to force Johnson to seek another Brexit extension from the EU.

MPs voted to withhold approval for his divorce deal unless and until the legislation required to ratify the treaty is passed through parliament.

A government source said that Johnson sent a total of three letters to Tusk - a photocopy of the text that the law, known as the Benn Act (that forced him to comply with the demand for extension); a cover note from Britain's European Union envoy saying the government was simply complying with that law; and a third letter in which Johnson said he did not want an extension.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's promise that his country will leave the European Union by October 31 may be in jeopardy - because of a request he made.

Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom voted to delay Brexit once again on Saturday after a landmark vote backing a motion called the Letwin Amendment. The EU is expected to reluctantly agree to an extension, despite Johnson saying after today's defeat he "would not negotiate" a deal with EU leaders.

He said he would introduce legislation next week to implement his deal, with a first vote as soon as Tuesday.

However, the main opposition Labour Party has condemned the deal as a "sell-out", while Johnson's Northern Irish allies are opposed to its arrangements for the province.

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"An agreement has been negotiated".

Earlier, Tusk said that such consultations may take up to several days.

Gove said that Johnson had sent the letter because it was required by parliament, but "parliament can't change the prime minister's mind".

"The president held a conversation with the British prime minister and shared his view for the need for a swift clarification", an official at the French presidency told Reuters.

When it comes to a vote in a divided Parliament where he has no majority, Johnson must win the support of 320 lawmakers to pass his deal.

Johnson said he would ask for the extension if necessary, but "it can not change my judgment that further delay is pointless, expensive and deeply corrosive of public trust".

He urged MPs to end years of uncertainty that has weighed on the economy and divided the nation - but they refused, warning his deal would leave Britain worse off.

"I will not negotiate a delay with the European Union and neither does the law compel me to do so".

Opposite Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he welcomed MPs voting for the Letwin Amendment and warned Johnson to be wary of breaking the law by going against the result of the vote.

The vote is a blow to Johnson, who has previously said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than prolong the tortuous process of ending Britain's 46-year-old membership of the EU.

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