Brexit Should Not Take Place on 31st October, the EU will Debate an Umpteenth Report

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Brexit looks like it will not happen on the 31st October

New snub for Boris Johnson: the House of Commons on Tuesday approved the new divorce Brexit agreement with the EU, but demanded a longer period to consider it.

Double slice vote in the House of Commons. British MPs approved Tuesday 22nd October 2019 in principle, by 329 votes to 299, the new Brexit agreement concluded by their Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU leaders, while demanding more time to consider it.

It has indeed refused by 322 votes against 308 to vote on this text by Thursday evening, a time deemed too short to debate a 110-page pad.

Boris Johnson then announced that he was suspending the examination of the agreement by the Parliament until the European Union takes a decision on a postponement of the date of Brexit, fixed in principle to 31st October.

“The Brexit is in purgatory,” headlined Wednesday the Daily Telegraph . “Yes, but no, but …” for its part, the tabloid The Sun joked at the new ambivalent vote by British MPs.

“Our position remains that we should not postpone, that we should leave the EU on October 31st,” added Boris Johnson, who has never changed his promise to implement Brexit at the end of the month. , as expected.

Following the British vote, Donald Tusk recommended EU leaders to agree to delay Brexit again, which has already been postponed twice, from 29th March to 12th April and again to the 31st October.

“I recommend to the leaders of the 27 members of the European Union to accept the British request for a further postponement of the (UK) release date and I propose that it be decided by written procedure”, without the need to convene a summit, tweeted Donald Tusk.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk
The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, on 22 October 2019 in Strasbourg. (© AFP / FREDERICK FLORIN)

“Calendar problem”

A meeting of EU member country ambassadors was scheduled on Wednesday to discuss the recommendation, one AFP official said.

But there is no question of deciding on Wednesday, warned this representative. It will be, he explained, to check whether all the member countries share the same analysis of the situation and to see if a new postponement is necessary.

“The good news is that Boris Johnson has found a majority and is not short. He managed his bet. But Parliament has blocked the schedule. We are not in a crisis situation, but facing a problem of timing becomes too tight, “told AFP a European official.

Boris Johnson had asked Saturday for a three-month extension, until 31st January 2020. Donald Tusk has advocated responding favourably to this request, but the EU may propose a different term.

Banners hostile to Brexit and European flags suspended in front of the British Parliament in London, October 22, 2019
Banners hostile to Brexit and European flags suspended in front of the British Parliament in London, October 22, 2019. (© AFP / Tolga AKMEN)

The duration of the extension must be decided by the Europeans in consultation with London, supported the European leader. “The EU is willing to accept an extension, but it will decide what is needed, and its exact duration will be the subject of political exchanges,” he said. “A postponement of three months is not acceptable. It must be limited, “he said.

France has also declared itself ready to accept a short “technical” report of “a few days” of the Brexit so that the parliamentary procedure can be completed in London, but excluded any rediscussion of the agreement.

“At the end of the week, we will see if a purely technical extension of a few days is justified so that the British Parliament can complete its parliamentary procedure,” said French Secretary of State for European Affairs Amelie de Montchalin. “Outside of this perspective, an extension to save time or rediscuss the agreement is excluded,” she added.

The agreement settles the terms of divorce between the United Kingdom and the EU after 46 years together and allows for a negotiated exit with a transitional period at least until the end of 2020. Once approved by Parliament British, it will also have to be adopted by the European Parliament.

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