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US News EU grants Brexit delay to Jan. 31; UK ponders new election

21:15  28 october  2019
21:15  28 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

Thousands of anti-Brexit protesters gather in London to march on Parliament as plotting MPs look set to thwart Boris Johnson's deal and delay leaving the EU - (while publicity-seeking eco-activist Mr Broccoli gets in on the act too)

  Thousands of anti-Brexit protesters gather in London to march on Parliament as plotting MPs look set to thwart Boris Johnson's deal and delay leaving the EU - (while publicity-seeking eco-activist Mr Broccoli gets in on the act too) Supporters of the so-called People's Vote campaign group gathered at Park Lane (left) before marching on the Palace of Westminster for a mass rally.Supporters of the so-called People's Vote campaign group have marched on the Palace of Westminster for a mass rally which has drawn tens of thousands from across the UK.

LONDON — The European Union agreed Monday to delay Brexit by three months until Jan . 31 , acting to avert a chaotic U . K . departure just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the 31 ; U . K . Ponders New Election . Monday, October 28, 2019 13: 31 .

BRUSSELS - The European Union agreed Monday to delay Brexit until Jan . 31 next year — making the concession just three days before Britain was due to Johnson now plans to seek an early general election with the goal of getting a Parliament that would back his Brexit plan, but he may not have

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to lawmakers during the election debate in the House of Commons, London, Monday Oct. 28, 2019. The EU agreed Monday to a three month delay in Britain's Brexit departure from the bloc, and parliament will vote on Monday if to have a General Election. (House of Commons via AP) © Provided by The Associated Press Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to lawmakers during the election debate in the House of Commons, London, Monday Oct. 28, 2019. The EU agreed Monday to a three month delay in Britain's Brexit departure from the bloc, and parliament will vote on Monday if to have a General Election. (House of Commons via AP)

LONDON (AP) — The European Union agreed Monday to delay Brexit by three months until Jan. 31, acting to avert a chaotic U.K. departure just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to lawmakers during the election debate in the House of Commons, London, Monday Oct. 28, 2019. The EU agreed Monday to a three month delay in Britain's Brexit departure from the bloc, and parliament will vote on Monday if to have an early General Election. (House of Commons via AP) © Provided by The Associated Press Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to lawmakers during the election debate in the House of Commons, London, Monday Oct. 28, 2019. The EU agreed Monday to a three month delay in Britain's Brexit departure from the bloc, and parliament will vote on Monday if to have an early General Election. (House of Commons via AP)

The decision was welcomed by politicians in the U.K. and the EU as a temporary respite from Brexit anxiety — but not by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said just weeks ago that he would "rather be dead in a ditch" than postpone the U.K.'s leaving date past Oct. 31.

Here's What Happens Now That Boris Johnson Has Been Forced To Request A Brexit Delay

  Here's What Happens Now That Boris Johnson Has Been Forced To Request A Brexit Delay Here's What Happens Now That Boris Johnson Has Been Forced To Request A Brexit DelayThe passing of the so-called Letwin amendment triggers another bit of legislation - the Benn act - which means Johnson must now write a letter to the EU asking for an Article 50 extension to January 31.

28 to delay Brexit until Jan . 31 next year—making the concession just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the Two diplomats told The Associated Press the term “flextension” means that the UK will be able to leave even earlier than Jan . 31 if the Brexit divorce

The European Union agreed to delay Brexit until Jan . 31 next year on Monday — just three days before Tusk’s announcement came as European Union diplomats met in Brussels to sign off on the new In London, British politicians are later set to vote on whether to hold an early election to try to

Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to lawmakers during an election debate in the House of Commons, London, Monday Oct. 28, 2019. The EU agreed Monday to a three month delay in Britain's Brexit departure from the bloc, and parliament will vote on Monday if to have an early General Election. (House of Commons via AP) © Provided by The Associated Press Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to lawmakers during an election debate in the House of Commons, London, Monday Oct. 28, 2019. The EU agreed Monday to a three month delay in Britain's Brexit departure from the bloc, and parliament will vote on Monday if to have an early General Election. (House of Commons via AP)

In the end, the choice was not in his hands. The U.K. Parliament forced Johnson to ask for a delay to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which would hurt the economies of both Britain and the EU.

In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, Johnson said that under U.K. law "I have no discretion . to do anything other than confirm the U.K.'s formal agreement to this extension."

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  The ‘Messy and Angry’ Prospect of Ireland Reunifying Changing demographics and sentiment signal that the possibility of a reunion is increasing. Yet few are prepared for what that means.Then the unforeseen happened. The United Kingdom voted narrowly to leave the European Union. Suddenly, Northern Ireland—which as part of the U.K. had voted to remain in the EU—was to be taken out of the bloc; the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state, would once again be a tangible barrier to movement and trade after a protracted period of near-invisibility. Warnings proliferated of the consequences—economic, security, political—of separating the two sides of the island of Ireland.

ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation (@zizonline) добавил(-а) фото в свой аккаунт Instagram: “ EU grants Brexit delay to Jan . 31 ; UK ponders new election ⠀ ⠀ The European Union agreed Monday to…”

The EU is set to accept the Boris Johnson’s reluctant request for a Brexit delay up to 31 January with the option of leaving earlier after Donald Tusk said Johnson said earlier in the day that he would seek a general election if the EU gave a three-month extension. EU sources had suggested that Brussels

But he called the delay "unwanted" and said it was "imposed on this government against its will."

Brexit: A timeline [Photos]

Johnson urged the 27 other EU countries "to make clear that a further extension after 31 January is not possible."

Johnson is now pushing for an early election as a way of breaking Britain's political impasse. He hopes voters will give his Conservative Party a majority, allowing Johnson to push through the divorce deal he struck with the EU and — finally — take Britain out of the bloc.

Lawmakers in the House of Commons were voting later Monday on a government motion calling for a general election on Dec. 12.

"The only way to get Brexit done is to go to the people of this country," Johnson told legislators, accusing his opponents of betraying voters' decision, more than three years ago, to leave the EU.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisor Dominic Cummings, left, leave 10 Downing Street in London, and get in a car together to go to the Houses of Parliament, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it's Parliament's fault, not his, that Britain will not be leaving the European Union as scheduled on Oct. 31. The EU has agreed to postpone Brexit until Jan. 31, 2020, after Johnson failed to get British lawmakers to ratify his divorce deal with the bloc in time to leave this week. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © Provided by The Associated Press British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his advisor Dominic Cummings, left, leave 10 Downing Street in London, and get in a car together to go to the Houses of Parliament, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it's Parliament's fault, not his, that Britain will not be leaving the European Union as scheduled on Oct. 31. The EU has agreed to postpone Brexit until Jan. 31, 2020, after Johnson failed to get British lawmakers to ratify his divorce deal with the bloc in time to leave this week. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

He said that unless there was an election, the government would be "like Charlie Brown, endlessly running up to kick the ball only to have Parliament whisk it away."

"We cannot continue with this endless delay," he added.

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier heads to a meeting about Brexit at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. European Council president Donald Tusk says the bloc has agreed to grant Britain a new Brexit delay to Jan. 31 next year. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) © Provided by The Associated Press European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier heads to a meeting about Brexit at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. European Council president Donald Tusk says the bloc has agreed to grant Britain a new Brexit delay to Jan. 31 next year. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

But Johnson faced a battle to persuade opposition lawmakers to back his election call.

Anti-brexit demonstrators stand outside Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it's Parliament's fault, not his, that Britain will not be leaving the European Union as scheduled on Oct. 31. The EU has agreed to postpone Brexit until Jan. 31, after Johnson failed to get British lawmakers to ratify his divorce deal with the bloc in time to leave this week. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) © Provided by The Associated Press Anti-brexit demonstrators stand outside Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it's Parliament's fault, not his, that Britain will not be leaving the European Union as scheduled on Oct. 31. The EU has agreed to postpone Brexit until Jan. 31, after Johnson failed to get British lawmakers to ratify his divorce deal with the bloc in time to leave this week. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Earlier in the day, after a short meeting of diplomats in Brussels, Tusk tweeted that the EU's 27 other countries would accept the U.K.'s request for a "flextension." Under the terms of the agreement, the U.K. can leave before Jan. 31 if the British and European parliaments both ratify a Brexit divorce agreement, either on Dec. 1 or Jan 1.

The delay is the third time the Brexit deadline has been changed since British voters decided in a 2016 referendum to leave the bloc.

Johnson took office in July vowing to "get Brexit done" after his predecessor, Theresa May, resigned in defeat. Parliament had rejected her divorce deal with the bloc three times, and the EU had delayed Britain's scheduled March 29 departure, first to April, and then to October.

Johnson has faced similar political gridlock, as Parliament blocked his attempt to push through his Brexit deal before the October deadline and made him ask the EU for more time.

The prime minister now wants to shepherd his Brexit withdrawal bill through Parliament before the election, but Johnson's opponents don't want to give him that victory. His motion Monday calling for a Dec. 12 vote — more than two years before Britain's next scheduled election in 2022 — needs the support of two-thirds of lawmakers to pass, and opposition parties are reluctant to hold an election on Johnson's terms.

The European Commission headquarters is reflected in the windows of the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The European Union agreed Monday to delay Brexit until Jan. 31 next year, making the concession just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the 28-nation bloc. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) © Provided by The Associated Press The European Commission headquarters is reflected in the windows of the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The European Union agreed Monday to delay Brexit until Jan. 31 next year, making the concession just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the 28-nation bloc. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Two opposition parties — the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party — are backing a rival plan for a Dec. 9 election if Johnson's proposal fails. Johnson's government has signaled that it will accept that idea if its own motion is defeated.

Even if there is an early election, it could produce a Parliament as divided over Brexit as the current one. All the political parties in Britain are worried about a backlash from grumpy voters asked to go to the polls at the darkest, coldest time of the year. Britain has not had a December election in almost a century.

European officials, meanwhile, urged Britain not to waste the extra Brexit time.

Facts to know about Brexit [Photos]

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert welcomed the Brexit delay, but cautioned Britain to "use the additional time productively."

Guy Verhofstadt, head of the European Parliament's Brexit group, wrote on Twitter that "whether the UK's democratic choice is revoke or an orderly withdraw, confirmed or not in a second referendum, the uncertainty of Brexit has gone on for far too long. This extra time must deliver a way forward."

EU and Union flags flap outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. European Council president Donald Tusk says the bloc has agreed to grant Britain a new Brexit delay to Jan. 31 next year. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) © Provided by The Associated Press EU and Union flags flap outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. European Council president Donald Tusk says the bloc has agreed to grant Britain a new Brexit delay to Jan. 31 next year. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

France was initially reluctant to extend the Brexit deadline beyond Oct. 31, but European Affairs Minister Amelie de Montchalin said the prospect of a new election in Britain justified the new delay. Montchalin also said it was not too late for Britain to revoke Article 50 of the EU treaty and cancel Brexit — something that Johnson has vowed he will never do.

The sun shines through a European Union flag hanging outside Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The European Union agreed Monday to delay Brexit until Jan. 31 next year — just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the 28-nation bloc. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) © Provided by The Associated Press The sun shines through a European Union flag hanging outside Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The European Union agreed Monday to delay Brexit until Jan. 31 next year — just three days before Britain was due to become the first country ever to leave the 28-nation bloc. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

"The prime minister can pick up his phone and call Brussels to say: "I stop everything,'" she said.

___

Petrequin reported from Brussels. Lorne Cook in Brussels and Gregory Katz in London contributed to this report.

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