Brexit looks set to rumble on as news broke this morning that the European Union has agreed to a ‘flextension’ that will see the UK given an extended deadline of January 31, 2020 to complete the process.
The UK had been set to leave the EU on October 31, but that prospect became increasingly unlikely when prime minister Boris Johnson was unable to get his Brexit deal and a timetable agreed on by parliament last week.
EU Council president Donald Tusk confirmed the delay this morning, tweeting that the decision will now be “formalised through a written procedure”. This is the third Brexit delay after two took place under former PM Theresa May.
To avoid a ‘No Deal’ scenario, which would have seen the UK crash out of the EU in just three days’ time, the PM was required to request an extension from the European body.
The ‘flextension’ term relates to the fact that the country could still leave the EU before the new January date if a deal and timeline is approved by parliament.
Attention now turns to a vote today on the possibility of an early UK general election, with notions tabled that could see an election take place in December.
PM Johnson has said that if an election is agreed upon, he will bring back his Brexit deal for MPs to further debate.
While the deal has not yet been confirmed, a potential step towards progress was taken last week when MPs passed the bill by a small majority, though they then voted against the proposed timetable, meaning it was further delayed.
This morning’s news was greeted with fresh calls from ‘Remainers’ for a second referendum to be put to the British public.