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EU nations agree to Brexit extension until January 31

Reuters
Published:  |  Modified:

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Monday that the 27 countries that will remain in the European Union after Britain leaves agreed on Monday to accept London’s request for a Brexit extension until 31 January 2020.

“The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK’s request for a Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020,” Tusk (above) said in a tweet.

Tusk also said the decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure, which means EU leaders will not have to meet in person to formalise it.

Earlier, it was reported that the 27 European Union countries that will remain after Brexit, hope to agree on Monday, to delay Britain’s divorce until Jan 31.

Sources said an earlier departure is possible should the factious UK parliament ratify their separation deal.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (below), last week, reluctantly requested the three-month delay until the end of January, 2020, after the parliament’s lower House of Commons refused to swiftly approve a new Brexit deal he had agreed with the bloc.

Any postponement to Brexit can only be granted unanimously by the 27 countries and French objections have so far prevented a decision as Johnson spars with lawmakers over calling an early election.

Diplomatic sources told Reuters the bloc’s 27 EU ambassadors would meet at on Monday in Brussels to agree on the three-month delay from the current Brexit date of Oct. 31.

The latest plan envisages that Britain could also be out on Dec 1 or Jan 1 should the parliament ratify the agreement in November or December, respectively, according to diplomats who deal with Brexit in the EU hub, Brussels.

The bloc will state that the extension, the third granted, so Britain can sort out its departure.

It will not be used to renegotiate the divorce treaty again and that London should not impede other essential work by the EU on projects from budgets to climate policies.

Should all the ambassadors agree, there will be a short period — less than 24 hours and possibly as little as several hours — during which national capitals could still object. If no issues are raised, the decision will take effect.

If Britain is still in the EU after Oct. 31, the bloc will ask London to name a candidate for the new executive European Commission.

Sources said that a new Commission, comprising one representative from every member state, is due to take over on Dec 1.

-Reuters

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