News | Published October 25 2019

EU agrees Brexit delay but does not set date

The European Commission has announced that the EU have agreed to a delay to Brexit but will not announce the length of the delay until next week. 

Mina Andreeva, the spokeswoman for the European Commission, “What I can tell you is that the EU 27 have agreed to principle of an extension and work will now continue in the coming days.”

According to the BBC Brussels correspondent, Adam Fleming, a decision is expected on Monday but this could be delayed until Tuesday if there is disagreement among ambassadors.

The EU’s decision will have significant effects on the domestic political landscape. 

If the EU offers a Brexit extension until 31 January, Boris Johnson will push for a general election on December 12. 

While MPs would be given more time to scrutinise his Withdrawal Agreement, focus would move away from passing this through the House and towards election preparations.

Some within the EU, particularly French president Emmanuel Macron, favour a shorter extension of just two weeks.

Laying out the argument for this shorter extension, Amelie de Montchain, France’s Europe Minister, said: “We will see if a purely technical extension of a few days is justified, so that the British parliament can complete its parliamentary procedure.

“We have reached an agreement and we must now implement it without delay to stop an uncertainty that is hurting millions of citizens and businesses.”

In a shift of strategy, the government has now accepted the UK will not leave the EU by 31 October. Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Javid said that the government had to accept that “we won’t be able to leave on 31 October.” Javid said that while ministers had done "everything possible", they all now expect an extension. 

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
October 25 2019

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