Pound shrugs off Boris Johnson's latest Brexit setback

Marco Green
October 21, 2019

"He made that request in a formal, unsigned letter he was required by law to send to the European Union following the passage of a measure mandating it be sent in Parliament Saturday".

But that was rejected by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland.

On Sunday the opposition Labour party declared that was exactly what happened.

"We are going to leave by October 31st", Michael Gove told Sky News on Sunday.

"We appear to have now the numbers to get this through", Mr Raab said.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said Tusk would consult with other leaders "in the next days" about Johnson's request, but most signs indicate the EU would prefer an extension to an abrupt no-deal Brexit.

Johnson notably penned the said letter to the European Union, but added no signature, instead accompanying it with a signed note reading he believed it would be wrong to extend the Brexit deadline again.

Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union late Saturday seeking a delay to Britain's impending October 31 departure from the bloc, as required by British law.

Johnson also sent a letter to British members of parliament and peers, warning that the European Union could reject the request for further delay and added that he "will not negotiate a delay". It was asked earlier this month to sign a letter fulfiling the terms of the Benn Act on the prime minister's behalf if he failed to do so, but judges abstained from ruling on the issue to allow the political debate to unfold.

"I will tell our friends and colleagues in the European Union exactly what I have told everyone in the last 88 days I have served as Prime Minister; that further delay will be bad for this country, bad for the European Union and bad for democracy".

Protesters in an anti-Brexit, "Let Us Be Heard" march on Piccadilly in London, as they head to Parliament Square. So far, the party, which holds 10 seats in Parliament, has refused to support Johnson's deal because it treats Northern Ireland differently than other parts of the United Kingdom.

"October 31 is within sight", Mr Gove said.

The government will bring forward this week the domestic legislation needed to implement the divorce deal, with a first vote as soon as Tuesday.

Tusk will spend a "few days" canvassing member state leaders, and diplomats said this would mean the British parliament will have to vote on Brexit again before hearing their decision on the October 31 departure.

Meanwhile, all the British ifs, buts, and maybes come amid questions on how Europe itself might react.

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The European Parliament must also approve the Brexit accord for it to pass.

The situation is set to see British MPs, EU ambassadors, and MEPs on the EU parliament's Brexit steering group holding late night meetings in London, Brussels, and Strasbourg this week.

While Johnson was forced to request an extension on Saturday, if MPs back his deal this week that extension will no longer apply.

But French president Emmanuel Macron sent a different message to Johnson in a phone call after the Letwin amendment got through.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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