Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has confirmed that his pledge to leave the European Union won’t be met on 31 October 2019 and the country will remain for a longer period. A spokesperson for the European Union has granted a three-month extension period, which Donald Tusk, the EU Council President, has called a “Flextension”.
Johnson had said during the Conservative Party leadership hustings that he would ensure that the country would leave the EU on 31 October 2019. In early September 2019, Johnson added that “I’d rather be dead in a ditch than agree a Brexit extension”. Downing Street confirmed today that there would now be a Brexit extension, but blamed Parliament for not helping the Prime Minister to deliver it.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has today met with Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, to discuss the current situation on Brexit and future co-operation between the UK and the European Union.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said in a statement:
“The PM today met with European Council President Donald Tusk in the margins of the G7 summit in France.
The PM repeated that the UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October whatever the circumstances. We must respect the referendum result. The PM said the UK would prefer to leave with a deal but the current Withdrawal Agreement will not get through Parliament.
The PM said the deal is anti-democratic. The people of Northern Ireland would have no say in rules covering large swathes of their economy and it would actually be harder for us to exit the new arrangement than it is to leave the EU itself.
The PM said we will work in an energetic and determined way to get a better deal and we are very willing to sit down to talk with the EU and member states about what needs to be done to achieve that.
The PM and the President also discussed foreign policy, including Iran and Russia, and stressed the importance of upholding the rules-based international system.
The PM said that, post-October 31, the UK will remain a close partner and strong ally of the EU. The PM and President said they would both be attending the UN General Assembly next month and would meet again there.”
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has said that a Brexit deal is now “touch and go” following his meetings with other European leaders. The Prime Minister had previously effectively guaranteed a deal during the Conservative Party leadership by saying that “there’s a million to one chance of a no deal”.
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, had said yesterday on Twitter:
“Tomorrow I meet PM @BorisJohnson. I hope that he will not like to go down in history as “Mr. No Deal”. The EU is ready to listen to operational, realistic ideas acceptable to all Member States including Ireland, if and when the UK government is ready to put them on the table.”
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has said that the backstop must be removed. In a letter to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, Johnson said that the EU position was “anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK as a state”.
Tusk posted on Twitter:
“The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found. Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support reestablishing a border. Even if they do not admit it.”
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, has reacted to news that the Cabinet has reached agreement on Brexit by suggesting that the plans are “pure illusion”. Replying to a journalist’s question Tusk said that based on the reports of the Cabinet’s meeting he added that there was no chance of “cherry picking” its future relationship with the EU.
“I am glad the UK government seems to be moving towards a more detailed position. However if the media reports are correct I am afraid the UK position today is based on pure illusion”.
“From the very start it has been a set principle of the EU27 that there cannot be any cherrypicking of single market à la carte. This will continue to be a key principle, I have no doubt”.
A meeting of the British inner Cabinet to discuss the Brexit situation has been reported in the media by attendees to have reached a decision on “managed divergence”.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has met today with Donald Tusk, the EU Council President and Emmanuel Macron, the French President. They discussed Brexit and the future relationships between the UK and the EU as well as the UK and France.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:
At the Gothenburg Social Summit, Prime Minister Theresa May held a bilateral meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk.
“In positive discussions, the two leaders spoke about the progress which had been made so far in the negotiations on citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland and the financial settlement.
Prime Minister May and President Tusk agreed that there is more work to be done and discussed how to take further steps forward together in advance of the European Council in December.
The Prime Minister also held a constructive bilateral meeting with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.
They discussed the progress which has been made so far. The two leaders looked forward to further progress being made ahead of the December Council.
President Macron and the Prime Minister also discussed the strong bilateral relationship which exists between France and the UK and looked forward to building upon it further in coming months and years”.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, yesterday met with Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council. The pair discussed the Brexit situation, including how to deal with the future border in Northern Ireland.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said:
“The Prime Minister began by re-stating her wish for a bold and unique new economic partnership with the EU, based on a joint commitment to free trade and high standards.
Returning to the theme of her speech in Florence last week, the PM said the UK and the EU should be imaginative and creative about the way this new relationship is established. The PM said she was optimistic about a joint future which benefits both the EU and the UK.
President Tusk welcomed the PM’s speech, which he described as constructive in progressing talks between the UK and the 27 member states.
The PM and President Tusk welcomed the good progress that had been made on citizens’ rights in the talks so far, and restated their commitment to finding a positive solution to the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
The PM also stressed the importance of agreeing a period of implementation once Britain leaves the EU in March 2019. She said this would build a bridge to that new relationship that ensures the process is smooth and orderly and creates as much certainty as possible for everyone.
At the end of the meeting, the PM said her Florence speech had been intended to create momentum in the ongoing talks. She said it was important for EU negotiators to now respond in the same spirit”.
Donald Tusk issued a statement on Twitter saying:
“Today I’d say there is no “sufficient progress” yet. But cautiously optimistic about @Theresa_May constructive, more realistic #Brexit tone”.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has signed a letter triggering Article 50 which will be hand-delivered later today to Donald Tusk, the European Council President. This letter will start the process of the UK leaving the European Union, allowing the two-year period of negotiations to begin.
The Prime Minister will also make a statement in the House of Commons later today which will encourage “the country to come together”.
Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, and Theresa May, the Prime Minister, have spoken by phone to discuss the progress of the UK’s departure from the European Union.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said:
“The President of the European Council Donald Tusk called the Prime Minister yesterday evening to congratulate her on her appointment.
The Prime Minister thanked President Tusk for the clear message he has given that the UK remains a full member of the EU until such a time as we leave and the Prime Minister underlined that she wants to approach the negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union in a constructive and pragmatic spirit.
In this context, the Prime Minister suggested that the UK should relinquish the rotating Presidency of the Council, currently scheduled for the second half of 2017, noting that we would be prioritising the negotiations to leave the European Union. Donald Tusk welcomed the PM’s swift decision on this issue which would allow the Council to put alternative arrangements in place.
Finally, the Prime Minister explained that we will need to carefully prepare for the negotiations to leave the EU before triggering Article 50. Donald Tusk reassured the Prime Minister that he will help to make this process happen as smoothly as possible.
They concluded by looking forward to a strong working relationship and agreed that they should meet soon in Brussels or London”.
Donald Tusk, the EU Council President, is to announce today details of the compromise agreement which was led to the UK. It is expected to include giving new powers for Parliaments to veto new EU legislation and for reform to when benefits are paid to migrants from within Union.
The agreement, which is still subject to negotiation, will be presented to other EU leaders at a special conference to be held on 18 and 19 February 2016. If agreement is reached it is then expected that the referendum in the UK on whether to stay in or leave the EU would take place in June of this year.
Tusk said in a Tweet yesterday:
“Tomorrow around noon I will table proposal for a new settlement for #UKinEU. Good progress last 24 hours but still outstanding issues”.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, is expected to continue on a tour of EU countries meeting leaders in a bid to gain their support.