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UK PM 'undaunted' by MPs' backing for Brexit extension

UK PM 'undaunted' by MPs' backing for Brexit extension”

A law passed by Parliament last month set a late-night deadline for the government to send a letter asking the European Union for a three-month postponement if lawmakers had not approved an agreement with the bloc by Saturday.

However, the Prime Minister's office is still refusing to confirm whether he will comply.

Sunday's papers worked late into the night to paint Boris Johnson variously as a staunch leader battling the "Brexit wreckers" in the Commons, or as prime minister who had notched up another humiliating defeat.

European Council President Donald Tusk said he had spoken to Johnson and an EU official said Johnson had confirmed in that call that the letter asking the EU for an extension would indeed be sent.

BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg described the decision to send three documents as "controversial", predicting "there will be a fight about whether Boris Johnson is trying to circumvent the court".

A defiant Mr. Johnson said he would push for another vote on his agreement early next week.

"I am incensed that we are not being listened to", said Hannah Barton, 56, a cider maker from central England, who was draped in an European Union flag.

The move followed a special Saturday sitting of the Commons where MPs voted by 322 to 306 in favour of an amendment withholding approval of his Brexit deal until legislation to implement it is in place.

Mr. Letwin, who supports Mr. Johnson's Brexit deal, argued that the amendment was simply a safety net to prevent pro-Brexit hard-liners from sabotaging the implementing legislation and, in the ensuing political vacuum before the October 31 deadline, engineering the no-deal rupture that some want.

If the extension offered by the European Union is to a different date, the prime minister would have two days in which to accept.

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"A bit churlish not to sign it though".

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, backed a second referendum, saying "the people should have the final say".

While MPs voted inside parliament, outside, more than 100,000 people marched to demand a new referendum that could reverse Brexit.

"The public will be appalled by this", said a Downing Street spokesman.

The PM also discussed the situation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.

Opponents of the plan accused Mr. Johnson of negotiating a shoddy deal that would leave a post-Brexit Britain vulnerable to predatory trade deals with other countries, not least the United States.

"I will not negotiate a delay with the European Union and neither does the law compel me to do so", Johnson told Parliament. The smaller and more pro-European Liberal Democrats say they would stay in the bloc without holding a second vote.

The Prime Minister said he would press on with his Brexit strategy "undaunted" despite the setback.

The EU eventually agreed to postpone Brexit until Oct. 31; Johnson has previously the United Kingdom must leave the EU by the end of October - even if there's no deal in place that sets up the parameters of the divorce, like trade and the rights of European citizens living in the UK.

After several hours of heated debate, senior politicians - including Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and Labour's foreign affairs spokeswoman Diane Abbott - were escorted from parliament past jeering demonstrators by phalanxes of police.



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