Boris Johnson tagged a 'spoilt brat' for not signing letter

Updated: Oct 21, 2019, 07:57 IST | Agencies | London

The UK PM was bound by law to issue a letter seeking a delay to Brexit after MPs voted in a historic Super Saturday Parliament session to delay voting on his motion on a new Brexit deal

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (centre) listening to a debate on the Brexit deal in the House of Commons in London. Pic/AFP
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (centre) listening to a debate on the Brexit deal in the House of Commons in London. Pic/AFP

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was on Sunday branded a 'spoilt brat' by the Opposition after he sent an unsigned letter seeking a three-month extension to the October 31 deadline from the European Union (EU).

The UK PM was bound by law to issue a letter seeking a delay to Brexit after MPs voted in a historic Super Saturday Parliament session to delay voting on his motion on a new Brexit deal. Johnson has previously said he would rather be 'dead in a ditch' than miss the October 31 deadline and had triggered speculation soon after the House of Commons vote by declaring that he would not negotiate an extension.

"The United Kingdom proposes that this (extension) period should end at 11pm GMT on January 31, 2020. If the parties are able to ratify before this date, the government proposes that the period should be terminated early," reads the unsigned letter sent to European Council President Donald Tusk on Saturday night.

While the Downing Street stance is that the UK PM has complied with the Benn Act by sending the Parliament's letter, there is some speculation if it opens up the prospect of legal action by it being an unsigned request. In an accompanied signed letter to Tusk, Johnson repeated his pledge of leaving the EU within the October 31 deadline by pressing ahead with the requisite legislation next week to seek Parliament's ratification for his withdrawal agreement.

"I have made clear since becoming the prime minister, and made clear to Parliament again today, my view, and the government's position, that a further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners, and the relationship between us," he states, insisting that the prolonged Brexit process must be brought to a conclusion to prevent a 'corrosive impact' from further delays.

Brexit ratification

Brussels officials on Sunday pressed on with plans to ratify the divorce deal as European leaders considered PM Johnson's reluctant request for a Brexit delay. Ambassadors and senior officials from the other 27 member states met on Sunday after British MPs forced Johnson to send EU Council the request.

'UK will leave EU'

UK ministers have insisted that the country will leave the EU by the October 31 deadline, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson's unsigned letter to European Council President Donald Tusk asking for a Brexit extension after he failed to secure votes in Parliament for his new deal.

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