Brexit Extension:

The British government has requested a Brexit reprieve from the EU in a letter - without Boris Johnson's signature. But there was another letter from the Prime Minister to Brussels.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sent a letter to the EU requesting a postponement of Brexit by 31 January 2020.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter that the Brexit extension letter had arrived. He will now start talking to EU leaders about a reaction, Tusk wrote.

Copies of this first letter, which circulated on Twitter, were confirmed as authentic to the top news from EU circles.

It shows that John's signature is missing on the request for renewal. The letter was accompanied by a copy of the "Benn Act".

The bill was rushed through by the British Parliament in September to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Shortly after the unsigned letter followed a clarifying letter from British EU Ambassador Tim Barrow, who pointed out that the request for a postponement of Johnson had deliberately not been signed as the UK government was "by law" bound to the motion.

In a second letter, however, Johnson personally turned to Tusk and expressed his regret over the failed vote on the new Brexit agreement in the British House of Commons.

It is now up to the European Council to decide when to decide on an extension and if it will be approved, Johnson wrote.

He pointed out that further delay would be a pity for Britain and the EU, Johnson said. 

"Although I would have wished for a different outcome today, the government will continue to work on launching the necessary ratification and adoption next week," Johnson wrote.

He was confident that this could be achieved by 31 October. (Read here which action option Johnson still has.)
Johnson had suffered a defeat in the British House on Saturday afternoon. Parliament approved an amendment by Oliver Letwin,

According to which, a ratification law must first be passed before the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Johnson can be decided.


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