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EU agrees to postpone Brexit extension date to January 31

European Council President, Donald Tusk, stated that EU nations – who will remain in the bloc once Britain leaves – have agreed to accept Johnson´s request for a delay in Brexit.

He tweeted a summary on Monday morning:

“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.”

The delay has been coined a “flextension” – a combination of the words “flexible extension” – because the UK has the option to leave the European Union at an earlier date than specified if the Prime Minister can create a confirmed and supported Brexit deal before the end of January.

Parliament is due to vote on Monday to determine whether or not to hold a general election before the end of December.  MPs are already preparing to vote on proposals for an early general election on 12 December and the SNP and Lib Dems have also proposed an election for 9 December.

Monday´s vote will ratify whether Johnson will be allowed to hold the election he claims is necessary to resolve the Brexit deadlock. But without a majority in parliament, he will need the support of opposition parties.

The Prime Minister will need a two-thirds majority in the House of Commons to surpass the Fixed Term Parliament Act – designed to increase stability by not allowing governments to call elections at any point, they must wait for five years –that was passed by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in 2010.

Britain´s Labour Party had previously completely ruled out supporting Johnson until the January deadline was approved by the European Union.

However, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have offered Johnson an alternative, officially written out in a statement to Donald Tusk. Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat leader, said that if the EU pushes the Brexit deadline to the end of January, they and the SNP will propose an amendment to hold an election on 9 December.

Then, the bill would only need a simple majority to pass, with the SNP and Liberal Democrats´51 MPs getting Johnson the numbers he needs without Labour Party support.

The draft text of an agreement for the 27 EU ambassadors includes a commitment that the Withdrawal Agreement on the UK´s exit from the EU cannot be renegotiated in the future.