EU agrees to three month Brexit extension as Boris Johnson calls for early elections
The European Union has decided to grant the United Kingdom a third extension of Brexit, according to a statement by European Council President, Donald Tusk, who referred to the measure as a “flextension” because it allows for the UK to leave before it expires on January 31, 2020.
The new extension is subject to approval by the twenty-seven EU governments who have until tomorrow to express their disagreement and is designed to give the British Parliament time to vote on the prime minister’s election call on Monday.
This is the third postponement of the Brexit date, more than three years after UK voters first decided to leave the EU in a referendum. The UK was originally scheduled to leave on March 29, but that was postponed until April 12 and then to October 31. Prime Mr Johnson was required to request the latest extension after Parliament failed to agree a Brexit deal last week. Johnson will need the support of two thirds of the MPs on Monday’s vote to bring forward the elections to December, which currently aren’t due to take place until 2022.
The Prime Minister’s support in the House of Commons has been reduced by about twenty deputies, who were excluded from the party after voting against his decision to prorogue Parliament. He’s also lost the support of the Democratic Unionist Party’s 10 deputies, who have said they will vote against the withdrawal agreement he signed with Brussels.
The main opposition Labour Party have said that it would only vote for general elections once the risk of an exit without agreement was removed.