Boris Johnson has tonight refused to sign a letter begging the EU for a Brexit delay after rebel MPs sabotaged his new deal.
The Prime Minister sent three letters to European Council President Donald Tusk after his Super Saturday plans were ruined by Sir Oliver Letwin’s plot.
He did not put his signature at the bottom of the first letter – a photocopy of the call by MPs to delay withdrawal from the bloc.
After the crushing loss, he rang European leaders – including Mr Tusk – declaring that the letter “is Parliament’s letter, not my letter”.
A second note, written by the UK’s Permanent Representative in Brussels, Sir Tim Barrow, made it clear the first was not from the PM.
Mr Johnson also sent Mr Tusk another letter stating he personally is not asking for an extension – and signed it at the bottom.
In it, the PM said a Brexit extension would be “deeply corrosive” and his stance is likely to spark a fierce political row.
THREE LETTERS TO TUSK
Mr Tusk confirmed he has received the extension request from Mr Johnson.
He said on Twitter: “The extension request has just arrived. I will now start consulting EU leaders on how to react.”
It comes just hours after he sent another letter to MPs telling them Brussels is likely to refuse the Brexit delay request.
He said: “The best thing for the United Kingdom and the European Union is to leave with this new deal on 31 October.”
In the letter, Johnson also made it clear that if Brussels neglect to give the government more time, it could have serious consequences after Tory rebel Letwin blocked his new deal.
He added that he hoped face with his new deal or no deal, MPs would this time choose the latter as he intends to leave the EU in 12 days.
In a day of high-drama in the House of Commons, MPs voted for the Tory rebel’s wrecking amendment by 322 to 306, and torpedoed Boris’ plans to pass a deal.
Super Saturday turned into Pointless Saturday after the Tory rebel sabotaged Boris’ Brexit bid with Parliamentary antics.
Instead the PM must now ask the EU for a THIRD time to delay Britain’s departure from the EU.
Under the Benn Act law, Boris will tonight be forced to write a letter to ask the EU for an extension until January 31.
But immediately Boris insisted he would not enter “negotiations” with Brussels over a delay, and said it was still the “best thing for the UK” to leave with his new deal on October 31.
He said: “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so.
“No delays, and I will continue to do all I can to get Brexit done on October 31.”
And in a letter to MPs revealed tonight, the PM reiterated these claims.
He wrote: “I have made clear that I do not want more delay…I will not negotiate a delay with the European Union.
‘NEW DEAL OR NO DEAL’
Johnson pointed out that as the EU leaders “have made it clear they do not want more delay” they could well reject the idea altogether.
The PM said it was his “great regret that the House has voted for more delay” – he had hoped MPs would finally back a Brexit deal, three YEARS after the public voted to leave but instead they opted for yet more dithering.
It comes as:
- Boris vowed to press on with Brexit and introduce his Withdrawal Bill to the Commons next week
- Hundreds of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters marched on Parliament today to call for another referendum
- MPs had to be escorted by gangs of police to get them out of the Commons safely
- Nigel Farage slammed the “appalling deal” in a newspaper advert
- MPs called for extra cash to help pay for childcare after they were dragged into Parliament for a Saturday sitting
The Government decided to cancel the main Brexit vote after the plot won the day – prompting disgusted
Tory MPs to walk out of the chamber in dramatic scenes.
Ten former Tories teamed up with Labour, the Lib Dems, SNP, DUP and a spread of independents to force the plot through today. But in a boost for Boris, no current Tories rebelled.
A No10 source said immediately after the vote: “Parliament has voted to delay Brexit yet again.
“The PM will not ask for an extension – he will tell EU leaders there should be no delays, they should reject Parliament’s letter asking for a delay, and we should get Brexit done on 31 October”.
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Source: The Sun