EU Chief Donald Tusk will recommend three month delay to Brexit

22 October 2019, 22:07 | Updated: 22 October 2019, 22:53

Donald Tusk recommends the EU27 accept the UK request for an extension
Donald Tusk recommends the EU27 accept the UK request for an extension. Picture: PA
Sylvia De Luca

By Sylvia De Luca

Donald Tusk has said he will recommend EU member states accept Boris Johnson's request for a three month extension to Brexit.

If the bloc comply with Mr Johnson's forced letter asking for Brexit to be delayed, it would mean the UK will remain in the EU until 31 January.

A No.10 source told Sky News that the Government will push for a general election if a Brexit extension is agreed.

In a tweet, Mr Tusk said: "Following PM Boris Johnson's decision to pause the process of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, and in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit, I will recommend the EU27 accept the UK request for an extension."

He added: "For this I will propose a written procedure."

The decision comes after MPs voted to force Boris Johnson to put his Brexit plans on hold.

After his defeat, Boris Johnson told MPs: "I will speak to EU member states about their intentions," adding: "Until they have reached a decision we will pause this legislation."

He stressed: "Let me be clear. Our policy remains that we should not delay, that we should leave the EU on October 31 and that is what I will say to the EU and I will report back to the House.

"I must express my disappointment that the House has again voted for delay, rather than a timetable that would have guaranteed that the UK would be in a position to leave the EU on October 31 with a deal."

Donald Tusk addresses the European Parliament during the debate on the outcome of the meeting of EU leaders
Donald Tusk addresses the European Parliament during the debate on the outcome of the meeting of EU leaders. Picture: PA

Mr Johnson continued: "And we now face further uncertainty and the EU must make up their minds over how to answer Parliament's request for a delay and the first consequence Mr Speaker is that the Government must take the only responsible course and accelerate our preparations for a no-deal outcome."

Boris Johnson was forced to pause the Brexit deal process after his tight three-day schedule angered many politicians who said they would not have enough time to scrutinise the lengthy Bill, which was more than 100 pages long. The Government lost by 14 votes.

But the prime minister was boosted by the fact his Brexit deal passed its first Commons hurdle earlier on Tuesday evening, after MPs backed its second reading.

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