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Tusk recommends European Union leaders agree to postpone Brexit

Tusk recommends European Union leaders agree to postpone Brexit”

The vote likely makes it impossible for Johnson to fulfill his vow to take Britain out of the European Union by the October 31 deadline.

On Saturday, Boris Johnson wrote a letter to the European Union formally requesting a delay to Brexit until the 31 January.

Ministers had hoped that they could win over a combination of enough pro-Brexit Labour rebels and former Tory MPs who had had the whip withdrawn and feared a no-deal Brexit, to win both votes.

DUP votes again proved crucial after MPs voted by 322 to 308 to reject his plan to ram legislation approving his Brexit deal through the Commons in just three days.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was headed for a showdown Tuesday with lawmakers who want to put the brakes on his drive to push his European Union divorce bill through the House of Commons in just three days and take Britain out of the bloc by October 31.

"Our European friends could not be clearer: the deal on the table is the one contained in this bill and the decision for this House is whether to ratify this deal rather than going round in circles in a futile attempt to construct a new one", Johnson told parliament.

"For this I will propose a written procedure", he said, which means that the 27 other member state leaders would not have to convene an emergency summit.

For the prime minister - not that he would like to admit it - it is nearly now impossible, even for an optimist like him, to imagine there is any remote possibility he will be able to stick to his Halloween deadline for Brexit to actually happen. He did not say how long a delay he would recommend, although the U.K.'s request was to postpone exit until January 31.

Britain faces another week of political gridlock after British lawmakers on Monday denied Prime Minister Boris Johnson a chance to hold a vote on the Brexit divorce bill agreed in Brussels last week. Let me be clear, our policy remains that we should not delay, that we should leave the European Union on October the 31st, and that is what I will say to the European Union and I will report back to the House.

If an extension of three months was granted and a general election triggered, then the United Kingdom would be closer to another vote than leaving the EU.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks in the House of Commons in London during the debate for the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, Tuesday Oct. 22, 2019.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was "welcome that the House of Commons voted by a clear majority in favour of legislation needed to enact Withdrawal Agreement".

Now, EU leaders will decide whether to allow a delay to Brexit, which is currently scheduled to take place on Halloween, and how long the delay should be.

But before Tuesday's vote, he said: "I will in no way allow months more of this".

Many lawmakers felt that three days was not almost enough time for scrutiny of the 115-page bill.

There were 329 votes in support of the bill and 299 against.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who has said "Brexit is a lose-lose", has since been appointed to lead a new task force to rebuild the EU-UK future relationship.

Frustration has mounted over the distraction of a process that has dragged on for more than three years since Britons voted in a referendum to leave the EU. Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn urged the prime minister to "work with us all of use to agree a reasonable timetable" for its passage.

After the votes, Mr Dodds told MPs: "It is perfectly proper and right and the House has made a very wise decision to allow further time for detailed examination of some of the most important legislation that we will ever have to consider, particularly given the impact on Northern Ireland".



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