Brexit delayed AGAIN as EU sign off three-month ‘flextension’

 UK can quit early if deal done

BREXIT has officially been delayed for the THIRD time today as EU bosses signed off a three-month extension until January 31. Brussels bosses gave the green light to a “flextension” – with the option of leaving as early as November 30 if a deal is approved by MPs. Boris Johnson will now consider an SNP-Lib Dem plan to hold an election on December 9Credit: Reuters This morning’s news means the PM’s “do or die” promise to leave the EU by October 31 has now been completely shattered. EU boss Donald Tusk said today: “The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK’s request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020. The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure.” It means there will be no special EU summit to rubber stamp the decision.

It comes as:

  • Boris will try to ram through an election tonight in the Commons to break the deadlock in Parliament, but he’s set to lose for a third time as Labour still won’t back him
  • Speaker John Bercow will quit on Thursday October 31 – the day Britain was supposed to leave the EU
  • Ex-Tory rebels including Philip Hammond and David Gauke said they wouldn’t back a snap vote this evening
  • Corbyn and his top team will meet for a crunch shadow cabinet this lunchtime to sign off their position

The news will heap pressure on MPs to back the PM’s election call tonight – as No Deal can’t now happen on October 31. But Mr Corbyn is still set to try and wriggle out of a poll by arguing that the PM could still take Britain out without a trade deal in December 2020. Last night he said the three month election would not be enough to vote for an election. “No, because it’s still there in his mind, it’s still there in the bill, and it’s still there as a threat,” he told reporters in Scotland. “It’s got to be completely removed before we’ll support an election. We want an election as soon as that’s removed and it’s in his hands to do so.” Under the terms of the flexible extension, our exit date could be moved forward to the end of November or the last day of December if there is a breakthrough in the Commons by then.

  • Push through Brexit Bill by November 6 with extra time for debate
  • Hopefully deliver EU exit and then go to the polls on December 12
  • Needs two thirds of MPs to push it through under Fixed Term Parliaments Act
  • Would mean Boris would be able to deliver Brexit and go to the polls – giving him a boost

LIB DEM/SNP PLAN

  • Ditch Boris’ Withdrawal Agreement Bill
  • Push through a simple one-line bill to call for an election on December 9
  • Would only need over half of MPs
  • But could get bogged down by other MPs who try to tack on amendments – such as demanding all 16 year olds get the vote
  • Would mean Boris had not delivered Brexit by polling day, leaving him weakened
  • Election date would be earlier and Labour/Lib Dems could get more support from uni students who have yet to go home