EU agrees three months Brexit “flextension” for Britain
London, Oct. 28, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The EU has agreed to a Brexit extension to 31 January 2020, with Donald Tusk saying the bloc would allow for a so-called “flextension” – meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal was approved by Parliament.
The idea behind “flextention” simply clears the way for opposition parties to back a general election.
After a 30-minute meeting of European ambassadors, Donald Tusk, the president of the European council said the EU27 had agreed to the request made by Boris Johnson just over a week ago.
He tweeted: “The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK’s request for a new flextension until 31 January 2020. The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure.”
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.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 28, 2019
The Liberal Democrats and Scottish National party have said they would back a general election on 9 December if no deal on 31 October was “taken off the table”. Downing Street has let it be known that it is considering how to respond.
Labour continues to insist it will not back an election unless there are further assurances that the UK will not crash out on 31 January.
The draft text of an agreement for the 27 EU ambassadors – seen by the BBC – also includes a commitment that the Withdrawal Agreement on the UK’s exit from the EU cannot be renegotiated in future.
The UK was due to leave the EU on Thursday, but Mr Johnson was required to request an extension from the bloc after Parliament failed to agree a Brexit deal.
The PM had repeatedly said the UK would leave on 31 October deadline “do or die”, but the law – known as the Benn act – also requires him to accept the offer.
The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said the decision saw a no-deal Brexit taken off the table – which will increase the pressure on MPs to decide on a general election.