PM accepts extension offered by EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written a letter to EU President Donald Tusk accepting an extension to the period allowed under Article 50(3) to January 31 2020.


The Prime Minister

28 October 2019

Dear Donald

I refer to the draft European Council Decision EUCO XT 20024/1/19 REV 1, which extends to 31 January 2020 the period under Article 50 TEU. As you are well aware, I have no discretion under the UK’s European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, which was imposed on this Government against its will, to do anything other than confirm the UK’s formal agreement to this extension, as per the attached draft Decision.

I must make clear my view that this unwanted prolongation of the UK’s membership of the EU is damaging to our democracy and to the relationship between us and our European friends. While we will of course not seek to deliberately disrupt the EU’s business, I must underline that I continue to have a responsibility as Prime Minister to protect the UK’s national interests during this period, including in EU decision-making.

I would have much preferred it if the UK Parliament could have proceeded rapidly to ratify the deal we reached between us. Unfortunately I very much fear that this Parliament will never do so as long as it has the option of further delay. That is why I am seeking a General Election in December to ensure the election of a fresh Parliament which is capable of resolving the issue in accordance with our constitutional norms.

But, in case Parliament resists this too, I would also urge EU Member States to make clear that a further extension after 31 January is not possible. This is plenty of time to ratify our deal. It will avoid this Parliament simply extending our membership again and again, distracting from the good conduct of the business of the European Union, and corroding public trust in politics in the UK.

I very much hope that we can soon put this difficult period behind us, and move forward rapidly to ending our EU membership and beginning the negotiations on the future Free Trade Agreement and the future partnership of friends which will come with it.

I am copying this letter to members of the European Council, the President of the Commission and the President of the European Parliament.

Yours sincerely

Boris Johnson

Brexit Negotiations

EU Agree Further Extension for Brexit

Donald Tusk announced this morning (28 October 2019) that the EU 27 has agreed to accept the UK (Parliament) request for an extension to the period under Article 50 (3) until 31 January 2020.

After 942 days since Article 50 was invoked, another extension (Jan 31 2020) to the extension (Oct 31 2019) of the extension (Apr 12 2019) of the negotiation period (Mar 29 2019) allowed under Article 50 has been agreed by the EU27. With option to leave on Dec 1 2019 or 1 Jan 2010.

All these extensions are playing havoc with my Countdown to Brexit

EU (Withdrawal) Act Withdrawal Agreement

PM to Donald Tusk 19/10/19

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson wrote another letter to Donald Tusk in addition to the one demanded by Parliament requesting an extension.

In this letter, he distances himself from the letter requesting an extension, outlining his and the Government’s position as follows:

While it is open to the European Council to accede to the request mandated by Parliament or to offer an alternative extension period, I have made clear since becoming 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. We must bring this process to a conclusion so that we can move to the next phase and build our new relationship on the foundations of our long history as neighbours and friends in this continent our people’s share. I am passionately committed to that endeavour.

It is not clear, whether this letter will be interpreted to mean that the PM is attempting to frustrate the “Surrender Law” (EU (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019) and future court action may be taken by his opponents to establish whether this is the case.

The letter in full is here:

PM to Donald Tusk 19 October 2019 (pdf)


Letter sent from the UK to the EU

Following the debate and vote in the House of Commons on 19 October, it was necessary for the Prime Minister to send a letter, dictated by Parliament in the recent “Surrender Act” (European Union (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019) fast-tracked through Parliament, to the EU requesting an extension, under Article 50, until 31 January 2020. There was no additional information enclosed, or required, detailing what the extension was actually for.

A letter was sent, as required on 19 October 2019, to the EU Council with a cover letter from Sir Tim Barrow, United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the European Union

Covering letter : letter from Sir Tim Barrow (pdf)

Letter to the EU from UK Parliament:

Note: this letter is identical to the details included in the Surrender Act and as required by law. There was no order demanding that the letter was signed and was sent unsigned. from UK to EU Council (pdf)

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

Technical update to the Withdrawal Agreement 12 April 2019

An exchange of letters between the EU Commission and the UK setting out and confirming technical updates to the Withdrawal Agreement reflecting the extension of Article 50.

(…and you thought that the EU was not going to change the Withdrawal Agreement !!)

Also included is an updated copy of the Withdrawal Agreement reflecting these updates.

Letter from the European Union to the UK concerning the Withdrawal Agreement

(Local copy pdf)

Letter from the UK to the European Union concerning the Withdrawal Agreement

(Local copy pdf)

Updated Withdrawal Agreement including Article 50 extension

(Local copy pdf)