Court records show Britain will ask for Brexit delay if no deal

Despite Boris Johnson’s repeated promises to withdraw Britain from the European Union at the end of this month, with or without an agreement, government documents indicate he will ask for an extension if there’s no deal by Oct. 19 — the deadline given by Parliament.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Wednesday. Photo by Hugo Philpott/

The records, made public by a a Scottish court Friday, suggest a deal is mandatory to leave on the Oct. 31 deadline. Lawmakers approved the Benn Act last month, which requires Britain to delay the departure if there’s no agreement by Oct. 19.

EU and British negotiators appear still to be a ways off an agreement. Thursday, EU leaders said a proposal by Johnson that included an alternative to the Irish backstop was unworkable and won’t be approvedby the 27 other nations in the bloc.

The ongoing Brexit chaos prompted former Conservative Party leadership candidate Rory Stewart to quit Parliament Friday to run for mayor of London. Stewart was among nearly two dozen Conservative Party members who were expelled last month for supporting the Benn Act.

“I’m getting away from a politics which makes me sometimes feel as though [U.S. President Donald] Trump has never left London and I want to walk through every borough of this great city get back to us on the ground,” he said.

Stewart plans to run as an independent to challenge incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan and Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, who welcomed another contender who can take on Khan’s record.

ByNicholas Sakelaris