Hours after losing a key Commons vote that put brakes on his revised Brexit deal on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent an unsigned letter to European Council president Donald Tusk seeking another extension to the UK’s departure, agencies report.
Tusk said he has received the extension request adding that talks would begin on how to respond to Johnson’s request.
EU ambassadors will discuss the matter when they meet on Sunday.
Since British MPs voted on Saturday to withhold their approval on the Brexit deal until the relevant legislation was passed, Brussels is expected to grant the extension request.
EU leaders had already hinted at this at a summit on Thursday. German Chancellor Angela told EU leaders that the Berxit delay is unavoidable if the new deal is voted out in the Commons. She said the EU should not push out the UK without a deal on October 31.
Johnson’s second letter sent to the EU explains why granting a Brexit extension will be a big mistake.
The third letter was sent to the British ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow.
Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg hinted at a “meaningful vote” on Johnson’s new deal on Monday. He did not elaborate.
Speaker John Bercow said he would decide on the matter.
Members of European parliament will meet on November 14 and announce a date to ratify the Brexit deal if the Commons passes the deal by then.
After a long and passionate debate on Brexit deal on Saturday, the speaker put to vote an amendment tabled by former Cabinet minister Sir Oliver Letwin to stop Britain from crashing out if there is no deal by October 31.
MPs voted by 322 to 306 in favour of the amendment inflicting a blow on Johnson.
Despite the vote loss, a defiant prime minister said he will not negotiate a fresh Brexit delay and no law can force him to do so.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned Johnson that he must comply with the Benn Act and stop blackmailing MPs with a no-deal crash-out threat to get their support for his sell-out deal.
The Scottish National Party leader at Westminster Ian Blackford said the prime minister is not above the law and he would find himself in court if he ignores the Benn Act and refuses to seek Brexit extension.
As the voting took place, tens of thousands of protesters marched to central London in support of a second referendum.
The result of the vote was greeted with cheers by the crowd gathered in front of the Palace of Westminster in Parliament Square.