Published: Sun, October 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

British PM sends unsigned letter seeking Brexit delay

British PM sends unsigned letter seeking Brexit delay

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union on Saturday requesting a delay to Brexit but he also sent another message in which he stated he did not want the extension, a government source said.

The Johnson government plans to proceed with votes on the implementing legislation tied to the Brexit deal in the coming days, with the Prime Minister saying that he hopes lawmakers will support it in "overwhelming numbers", but the vote puts the ball in the EU's court. if the United Kingdom is to avoid crashing out of the bloc on October 31.

An hour before the deadline, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: "The extension request has just arrived".

The president's office said Macron indicated to the British prime minister that "a delay would be in no one's interest".

Johnson had hoped to get his deal approved during Saturday's special sitting of parliament, thereby nullifying the legislation.

While MPs debated inside the Palace of Westminster, hundreds of thousands gathered outside in Parliament Square to demand a second referendum on Mr Johnson's Brexit deal.

An EU source said that once Mr Tusk received the letter, he would start consulting EU leaders on how to react - which may take a few days, BBC Brussels reporter Adam Fleming reported.

Fustration has mounted among them over the distraction of a process that has dragged on for three-and-a-half years since Britons voted in a referendum to leave the EU.

Letwin's amendment proposed that a decision on whether to back a Brexit deal be deferred until all the legislation needed to implement it has been passed through Parliament.

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FOX Business News' Ashley Webster reports on the current Brexit deal and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's former aide Nile Gardiner discusses how Saturday's Brexit vote might impact current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. It would make support for the deal conditional on the legislation to implement it being passed by Parliament, something that could take several days or weeks.

The prime minister argued that it was the best deal Britain could hope to strike - one that, in his telling, would position the country for a thriving future as an agile, free agent in the global economy - and that any further delay would be "pointless, expensive and deeply corrosive of public trust".

In Paris, a statement from the French Presidency read that a delay to Brexit was "in nobody's interest". But he wanted "an insurance policy which prevents the United Kingdom from crashing out on October 31 by mistake if something goes wrong during the passage of the implementing legislation".

There is a chance the deal could pass, and Britain could still leave the European Union on October 31, but there remains strong opposition to the agreement among MPs. "We feel that we are voiceless", said Hannah Barton, 56, a cider maker from central England, who was draped in an European Union flag. Should he fail, Johnson will face the humiliation of Brexit unravelling.

Lawmakers have twice delayed Britain's exit from the European Union, repeatedly rejecting a similar deal struck between former prime minister Theresa May's government and the trading bloc.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the "emphatic decision" from MPs.

He had spent 48 hours frantically trying to persuade MPs to back it, and won support from numerous eurosceptic Conservatives who had three times rejected a previous divorce agreement secured by his predecessor Theresa May.

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