U.K.’s Boris Johnson reverses, requests extension of Brexit deadline

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson formally applied for an extension to the country’s October 31 deadline to leave the European Union (EU) on Saturday after parliament handed him a defeat and voted to delay approval of his agreement to leave the EU.

The New York Times reported that Johnson submitted a formal request for an extension to EU officials even after declaring just last month that he rather be “dead in a ditch” than do so.

{mosads}His letter comes just hours after members of parliament, led by an ex-member of Johnson’s Conservative Party who was expelled by the prime minister, voted to delay approval of Johnson’s Brexit plan until parliament passes legislation to enact it. It also required Johnson under the law to request an extension from EU officials.

“The Government must ask for an extension of Article 50 under the Benn Act and set out how it intends to proceed,” tweeted the House of Commons on Saturday.

How that negotiation will proceed is unclear, as Johnson said immediately following the vote, according to CNN: “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU, and neither does the law compel me to do so.”

“Further delay will be bad for this country,” Johnson added Saturday.

British politics have been mired in Brexit negotiations for months following a referendum on the issue which passed more than 2 years ago. Former Prime Minister Theresa May, Johnson’s predecessor and fellow Conservative, resigned earlier this year after her own plan for Britain to leave the EU was defeated by parliament.

The U.K. is currently set to leave the European Union (EU) on October 31, even if a deal addressing issues such as a customs union and the U.K.-Ireland border is not passed.

Tags Boris Johnson Brexit European Union Theresa May United Kingdom.

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