LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union on Saturday requesting a Brexit delay alongside a separate note saying that he did not want an extension, a British government source said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the House of Commons as parliament discusses Brexit, sitting on a Saturday for the first time since the 1982 Falklands War, in London, Britain, October 19, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video. Parliament TV via REUTERS
Under the “Benn Act”, passed by lawmakers last month, Johnson had to ask for a Brexit deadline extension from Oct. 31 until the end of January if he failed to get lawmakers’ backing for a Brexit deal by Saturday, or their support for leaving without a deal.
Instead of voting on his divorce deal, lawmakers voted to back an amendment which delayed a final decision until formal ratification legislation has passed.
The source said a third document was also sent to Brussels, signed by Britain’s top envoy to the European Union.
Here is a text of the unsigned letter that Johnson was required to send under the Benn Act.
“Dear Mr President,
The UK Parliament has passed the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019. Its provisions now require Her Majesty’s Government to seek an extension of the period provided under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union, including as applied by Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty, currently due to expire at 11 p.m. GMT on 31 October 2019, until 11 p.m. GMT on 31 January 2020.
I am writing therefore to inform the European Council that the United Kingdom is seeking a further extension to the period provided under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union, including as applied by Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty. The United Kingdom proposes that this period should end at 11 p.m. GMT on 31 January 2020. If the parties are able to ratify before this date, the Government proposes that the period should be terminated early.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”
Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Alistair Bell