Tag Archives: Westminster

Brexit three months extension

The European Union leaders have agreed to extend the UK departure date until 31 January 2020, indirectly acknowledging that the British government will not meet the foreseen deadline on October 31.

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The president of the EU Council Donald Tusk assessed the delay as “flextension“, underlining that there is no need to keep membership in the block until the date, but Britons could leave anytime before the date as soon as the Withdrawal Agreement was approved by Westminster. 

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The new Brexit delay has been announced amid MPs intend to vote on proposals by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for an early general election on December 12. 

The Scottish National Party (SNP)  and Liberal Democrat’s (Lib/Dem) have also proposed an election a few days earlier – on December 9. 

The UK was due to leave the EU on October 31, but PM Johnson was required to request an extension after Westminster failed to agree a Withdrawal Agreement. 

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Boris Johnson had repeatedly stated the UK would leave on 31 October meeting the deadline regardless the Withdrawal Agreement, but the law – known as the Benn Act – imposes to accept the EU’s extension proposal in absence of the Brexit deal.

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The Downing Street source said to the BBC that the government would introduce a bill “almost identical” to the Lib Dem/SNP option on October 29 if Labour voted their proposal down later, and “we will have a pre-Christmas election anyway”.

EU Brexit talks to resume next week

The European Union has agreed to the UK request for a Brexit deadline extension but set no new exact date, offering to Westminster sufficient time to decide on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal for a snap election. (Image above: Michel Barnier,  archive)

There was full agreement on the need for an extension,” an EU official said after ambassadors discussed postponing the deadline, less than a week before the agreed date of October 31.

Work will continue over the weekend” and the envoys will meet again in Brussels on October 28-29, the civil servant said.

Germany hopes for orderly Brexit soon

Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas shared his hope of Westiminster lawmakers would vote to proceed with an orderly Brexit, he also confirmed his readiness for a short extension of Brexit for the lawmakers to proceed with the legislation. 

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“I hope that the British lower house, showing the necessary responsibility, can take a decision on this today and that on the basis of this decision we will be in a position to achieve an orderly Brexit,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. 

Should there be problems in Britain with the ratification, I would not rule out that there could be a short, technical extension,” the top diplomat added. 

Should there not be a majority in the British lower house, then we in the European Union would have to look at whether there would then be a full extension – and only then would there be a decision about that. At the moment, I don’t think it is sensible or appropriate to speculate about that.”

Westminster aims at one year Brexit delay

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to negotiate further extension of Brexit deadline with the European Union, after he failed to win the support of Westminster for his Article 50 Agreement with the bloc, facing another delay caused by MP Oliver Letwin amendment. The MPs passed an amendment tabled by a cross-party group, led by Mr. Letwin by 322 votes to 306 – a majority of 16. The amendment says Parliament will withhold approval of the Prime minister’s deal until the withdrawal bill implementing Article 50 Agreement has been passed. In essence the #Letwin manoeuvre means winning time, shifting away the vote for endorsed in Brussels this week Brexit deal.

Voting down Prime Minister’s deal implies the request of a further postponement of abandoning the EU, the step Boris Johnson categorically denies, also pointing at the EU fatigue from the protracted debate on conditions of the departure.

MPs voted 322 to 306 in favour of a 26-word Letwin amendment that imposed an obligation on Prime Minister to ask the EU for a delay until the end of January 2020.

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“And of course, the truth of it is this is all about getting a second referendum. That is what the Remainer forces in Parliament want. And the more time they buy, the more chance they’ve got of getting something like that passed. 

“So you know, we’ve got this odd situation that goes on and on and on. A Remain Parliament and a Leave country and it’s just the most awful situation.

“I feel in the absence of a general election, nothing is going to improve” said Member of the European Parliament, and the leader of Brexit party Nigel Farage in his comment to LBC TV after the vote.

The representative of the European Parliament at Brexit talks. Guy Verhofstadt wrote: “The @Europarl_EN’s Brexit Steering Group will consider the outcome of today’s vote for the Letwin amendment on Monday. Whatever happens next, the marches outside the Parliament show just how important a close EU – UK future relationship is”.

The EU spokesperson said the European Commission took a note of the vote supporting Letwin amendment. “It will be for the UK government to inform us about the next steps as soon as possible” she added.

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The president of the European Council had a telephone
conversation with Prime Minister Johnson, and is awaiting an official letter, informing the EU about the situation in the Westminster.

Johnson: forced to delay Brexit again

Westminster including a number of former Conservatives expelled from the party, are preparing legal action in case the Prime Minister Boris Johnson refuses to request Brussels to delay Brexit beyond October 31.

A bill imposing to request an extension of the UK‘s departure date to avoid a no-deal Brexit on 31 October is set to gain royal assent.

But the PM has said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for a delay.

Now the Members of Parliament have formed a legal team and are willing to go to court to enforce the legislation, if necessary.

The cross-party bill – which requires the Prime minister to extend the Brexit deadline to next year (January 2020) unless Parliament agrees a deal with the EU by 19 October – was approved on Friday.

However the bill requires approval from Queen Elizabeth II. The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands firmly against this initiative, and vows  to deliver Brexit according to the referendum results, in full respect of democracy.

Johnson vows to deliver Brexit on 31/10

Today British Prime minister Boris Johnson made a short statement to confirm his determination to exit the EU on October 31. However he expressed hope there would be a deal by then. He also criticized the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn for his tactic of permanent delays of the departure date. (Image above: archive).

The government led by Johnson is expected to table a motion to hold a general election on 14 October in case the Remainers MPs would get majority in opposing no-deal exit.

Boris Johnson said he did not wish a snap election, but he does not see other ways to progress, breaking the deadlock.

Brexit: Queen approves suspension of Parliament

Queen approves Boris Johnson’s request to droop UK Parliament. (Image: archive).

Boris Johnson asked Queen to suspend UK Parliament ahead of Brexit.

The European Parliament representative for Brexit talks Guy Verhofstad expressed his disappointment with the decision of the UK Parliament suspension.

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