EU pushes back Britain’s withdrawal date 3 months

The European Union pushed back the deadline Monday for Britain to leave the 28-nation bloc by three months.

A British-EU flag stands on a table at the final Brexit summit on Tuesday in Strasbourg, France. File Photo by Patrick Seeger

The EU said the “flextension” agreement gives Britain the option of leaving on the first day of the month following the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, or on Jan. 31, whichever comes first. Britain has been scheduled to leave Thursday, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not been able to push his proposed agreement through Parliament.

“The [EU] has agreed that it will accept the U.K.’s request for a new flextension until Jan. 31, 2020,” EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted. “The decision is expected to be formalized through a written procedure.”

Johnson has repeatedly promised to leave by the end of October, with or without a deal. Lawmakers, however, mandated an extension by law.

As a condition of Monday’s extension, the EU said it won’t renegotiate the agreement again.

Also Monday, Parliament will vote on a motion to stage early elections in December. Johnson said if he wins the a majority in the election he would approve the deal to “get Brexit done in January, and the country will move on.”

The Liberal Democrat and Scottish National parties are pushing for a Dec. 9 election while Johnson has targeted Dec. 12. Johnson unsuccessfully tried twice last month to force a new election.

The Labor Party said it doesn’t want elections before Christmas unless there are assurances Britain won’t leave the EU without a deal — and Liberal Democrats said they have given up hope of getting a second Brexit referendum on the ballot.

ByNicholas Sakelaris