Topline: EU leaders have agreed to grant the U.K. a three-month delay to Brexit, meaning the October 31 exit deadline has been extended until January 31, 2020, at the latest.
- EU Council president Donald Tusk tweeted the confirmation on Monday. He said: “The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the U.K.’s request for a Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020."
The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK's request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020. The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) 28 октября 2019 г.
- The “flextension” means that the U.K. would be allowed to leave the EU before January 31, if the British and European Parliaments ratifiy a deal before then.
- It comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to send a letter to the EU requesting an extension, after a vote on his Brexit bill was blocked, twice.
- The move now means Johnson will push for a general election this December, with British lawmakers set to debate the move this afternoon.
Key background: Johnson has repeatedly said that he wanted the U.K. to leave the EU on October 31 “do or die,” but that certainly will not happen now. Johnson was forced by law to ask the EU for an extension earlier this month, after he failed to get his Brexit deal approved by U.K. parliamentarians.
Last week, lawmakers approved Johnson’s deal in principle, by voting to approve Johnson’s “Withdrawal Agreement Bill,” which sets out the terms of the U.K.’s exit from the EU. Johnson then “paused” the deal after lawmakers rejected a short three-day window in which to debate it. But for the bill to progress further, Johnson said on Friday that he would allow lawmakers to debate it if they agreed to allowing an election on December 12.