EU Agrees to Brexit Delay Until Mid-January
The European Union is proposing to extend the deadline for Brexit by three months to Jan. 31, according to a draft declaration seen by Bloomberg that will be discussed by envoys in Brussels on Monday.
Under the proposal, the U.K. would be able to leave the EU earlier -- on Nov. 30 or Dec. 31 -- if both sides ratify the divorce deal in time. It excludes any potential to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and requires the U.K. to meet its EU obligations in full during the extension.
EU diplomats are due to meet at 10 a.m. in Brussels to discuss the proposal. It’s possible that, just as on Friday, not all countries will agree. French President Emmanuel Macron blocked the EU’s attempt to delay Brexit for three months, insisting instead on a one-month delay to Nov. 30.
The bloc has said it wants to resolve the issue of an extension without calling an emergency summit, and said Friday a final decision would be announced by Tuesday.
The meeting of envoys will take place hours before British politicians vote on Boris Johnson’s bid for an early general election on Dec. 12. The U.K. prime minister looks likely to fall short of the necessary two-thirds majority in the House of Commons, with opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reiterating on Sunday that he won’t back the plan unless the threat of a no-deal Brexit is completely off the table.
Johnson has made the ratification of his Brexit deal with Brussels contingent on MPs backing an early election, with the legislation needed to put the withdrawal agreement into U.K. law paused until they do so.