EU leaders have agreed to extend the United Kingdom’s deadline to leave the 27-nation trading bloc for another three months. The new deadline is 31st January 2020.
Despite multiple media reports citing sources revealing that the EU was due to grant an extension, the news was concretely confirmed from a tweet by the European Council President Donald Tusk.
Mr Tusk said the bloc would allow for a so-called ‘flextension’ – meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if Parliament managed to approve the tweaked withdrawal agreement before the new deadline.
Members of the House of Commons are preparing to vote on proposals made by UK PM Boris Johnson for an early general election on 12th December. Mr Johnson sought one after gaining support of his tweaked withdrawal agreement in Parliament at the second reading stage, however losing out on a crucial vote to fast track the legislative process for the tweaked deal before the previous 31st October deadline.
Speculation was rife that the EU would not comment on whether it would grant an extension until UK MPs voted on whether to hold a snap election. MPs will be voting on Monday about whether to support the UK PM’s calls for a snap election on 12th December.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had previously said that the Opposition would not support a snap election under Mr Johnson secured a Brexit deadline extension and ensured that a no-deal Brexit would be off the table.
A number of MPs from both sides of the divide have been lukewarm at the prospect of a snap election right before Christmas.