“The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK’s request for a Brexit extension until 31 January 2020″, Donald Tusk said Monday, in a tweet. “The decision is expected to be formalized through a written procedure”.
That would appear to mean that Emmanuel Macron, who last week argued against a three-month extension in favor of a shorter timeline aimed at helping push things forward in the UK, has capitulated.
Apparently, the proposal being considered in Brussels contains two options for the UK to leave “early” (with early being the most relative of relative terms), on November 30 or December 31, if the agreement struck earlier this month is ratified.
The extension isn’t likely to be enough when it comes to compelling Jeremy Corbyn to go along with Boris Johnson’s push to have an election on December 12.
Corbyn insisted over the weekend that the EU agreeing to a three-month extension isn’t sufficient. He wants ironclad protection against a no-deal Brexit. If he isn’t pacified, Boris will likely fail again in his efforts to engineer an election.
“Earlier, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party presented a proposal to secure an early election via an amendment to the fixed-term law, which could be passed by simply majority”, Bloomberg notes.
The two parties were angling for December 9, in order to raise the odds of pro-Remain students still being at university when voting takes place. Johnson’s government didn’t go for it, calling it a “gimmick”. “They have obviously made it clear that they have no intention of wanting Brexit to be done, no intention of wanting the Withdrawal Bill”, Nicky Morgan, Culture Secretary, complained to Sky News. Corbyn did’t like it either – he deemed it a “stunt”.
Johnson last week “paused” the Brexit bill after failing to win support for a fast-track strategy that would have allowed him to cram the bill through in time to meet the October 31 deadline he’s long championed as a do-or-die cutoff.
There is no Plan B if Johnson’s latest election gambit fails. It’s possible that no-confidence proceedings could be triggered, leading to more chaos and, ultimately, an election anyway.