Boris Johnson tells Donald Tusk he does not want a Brexit delay


Boris Johnson has told Donald Tusk that there should be no Brexit delay, and that it is in the EU and UK’s interests that Britain leaves the bloc on October 31, Downing Street said.

The British Prime Minister spoke to the European Council president on Wednesday morning after his plans to fast-track his deal through the Commons by the end of the month hit the buffers.

Mr Johnson “set out that he continues to believe that there should be no extension and that it is in the interests of both (the EU) and the United Kingdom for us to leave on October 31”, Number 10 said.

A source said the British PM believes it is still possible to deliver Brexit with a ratified deal by the deadline, but EU leaders will now decide whether to grant Britain a further extension, and for how long, in order to allow the UK to leave with a deal.

The UK’s opposition parties have signalled they will back a British general election this autumn if the EU grants a delay to Brexit until next year.

Mr Johnson met Jeremy Corbyn in his Commons office on Wednesday to discuss a new timetable, but an agreement was not reached.

A Tory source said the Labour leader made clear he has “no policy except more delays and to spend 2020 having referendums”, however a Labour Party spokeswoman said Mr Corbyn reiterated Labour’s offer to “agree a reasonable timetable to debate, scrutinise and amend the Withdrawal Agreement Bill”.

Mr Corbyn was also said to have “restated that Labour will support a general election when the threat of a no-deal crashout is off the table”.

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