EUambassadors have agreed on a three-monthBrexitextension until (January) – killing offBoris Johnson‘s pledge to deliver the UK’s exit from the bloc by Halloween.
It comes as the prime minister makes a bid in the Commons for a 12 December election. Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA), he would require a two-thirds majority – the backing of 434 MPs – to hold a pre-Christmas poll.
Labor’s lack of support for the plan means it’s likely to be defeated, but theLib Demsand theSNPhave proposed a one-line bill to bypass the FTPA, one that would leave Mr Johnson needing only a simple majority to get a December election.
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Labor campaigner for referendum condemns Lib Dems
Labor MP Peter Kyle, who last week tabled an amendment to the withdrawal agreement bill proposing a second Brexit referendum, said he had been “thinking a lot” about the Lib Dem-SNP proposal for a 9 December general election.
“Makes me really sad that after so much cross-party effort the first we hear of it was in the Sunday papers,” he tweeted, before explaining why he thinks a Final Say public vote is still needed.
People’s Vote staff stage walkout, say reports
Staff at the People’s Vote campaign has staged at walkout over the treatment of leading figures Tom Baldwin and James McGrory.
Baldwin, the head of communications for the campaign has accused the chairman of putting a “wrecking ball” through the campaign amid an apparent power struggle in the group.
Baldwin said Roland Rudd, chairman of the campaign, is “making a mistake that I think a lot of businessmen do when they dabble in politics ”.
Asked if he has been sacked by Rudd, Baldwin said there is a“ curious situation ”, telling BBC Radio 4’sTodayprogram: “Roland Rudd has chosen this time to put a wrecking ball really through the campaign.
“It’s not about me, and it’s certainly not about him. I mean the People’s Vote campaign is five different organizations.
“He is non-executive chairman of one, I think the outgoing executive chairman of one. And he’s making a mistake that I think a lot of businessmen do when they dabble in politics, which is to think that because they had a certain title on a board that they then own the campaign. ”
Presser further on whether Rudd sacked him, Baldwin said: “He technically controls my contract but he didn’t appoint me. He doesn’t pay me. ”
According to several accounts, staff at the campaign’s HQ have walked out of work.
Michel Barnier ‘content’ with EU 27 ambassadors’ decision
Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tells reporters he is “content” with the three-month flextension granted to the UK. Barnier continue working for European Commission during the trade deal negotiations stage of Brexit – so long as our withdrawal can actually be achieved.
How will Brexiteers react to delay?
So there you have it – we won’t be leaving the EU on Thursday. Expect to hear a lot about Boris Johnson breaking his “do or die” promise to deliver Brexit by 31 October.
The prime minister said he would rather “die in a ditch” than ask for another delay, and he will no doubt attempt to call it parliament’s delay if he does any interviews today.
You may also expect to see a lot of Mark Francois clips today. The Tory MP and leading member of the European Research Group said the country would “explode” if we didn’t leave by Halloween.
And Francois was given a personal assurance by the PM the 31 October deadline would be met “come hell or high water ”.
Peter Mandleson says Labor would be in strong position – if not for Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘poor personal ratings’
Tony Blair’s former close ally Peter Mandleson acknowledged Labor could yet win power with its left-wing manifesto – but only if it dumped the unpopular leader Jeremy Corbyn.
In a pamphlet, the New Labor founder criticized John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, for “simply telling the movement what they want to hear”, rather than offering “new ideas”.
Our deputy political editor has all the details.
EU grants ‘flextension’ as part of three-month delay
Our Europe correspondent Jon Stone has the latest on the EU ambassadors’ decision to grant a Brexit delay until 31 January .
European Council president Donald Tusk described the extension as a “flextension”, so the UK could still leave before February if MPs approve the withdrawal agreement before the deadline is
All the details here:
BREAKING: EU agrees on Brexit extension until (January)
Gavin Williamson doesn’t rule out Lib-Dem-SNP plan
Education secretary Gavin Williamson has been making the case for a general election.
“I would hope it would be the 12 th [December], ”he told Sky News. “It’s not often you have a situation where the government is saying we need to have a general election and then you have the leader of the opposition saying no. I don’t think that’s sustainable. ”
Williamson did not reject the Lib Dem-SNP proposal for a one-line bill vote on a 9 December election, but insisted the government Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) vote today would be the “quickest and easiest” way to get a general election.
He earlier told BBC Breakfast said there would a good chance they could win the vote expected Monday evening – the government needs a “super majority” of 434 MPs – but accepted it was “challenging
One Sunday a No 10 official said: “We will look at all options to get Brexit done, including ideas similar to that proposed by other opposition parties.”
Reports suggest s Downing Street officials are now considering picking up the opposition parties’ idea of a one-line bill to bypass the FTPA, since it would only require a simple majority.
The government could try to initially push to their own one-line bill for a 10 December or 12 December election from Tuesday if the FTPA route fails today, partly to deny the Lib Dems and SNP the victory of dictating the date of the poll.
Minister urges MPs to back 12 December poll
School standards minister Nick Gibb told BBC Radio 4’sTodayprogram: “The way to get an election is to vote for the motion that’s on the order paper today.”
He described the move by Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson as a “clear decision” to “disobey” the mandate given in the EU referendum.
Swinson wants Boris Johnson to drop his withdrawal agreement bill in exchange for support passing a bill to bypass the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) and set up a 9 December election.
“They want to revoke Article 50 and keep us in the EU, ”Gibb said of the Lib Dems.
He said the government plan to hold an election on December 12 means MPs can be given more time to scrutinise the withdrawal agreement bill.
Swinson says 9 December election plan ‘sensible’ – and allows more students to vote
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, who together with the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has put forward a tightly-drafted bill that would grant an election on 9 December, said their plan was “a sensible way forward”.
She told theTodayprogram the proposal had given the EU “confidence that if they offer the extension that they’re discussing today that that
Swinson explained: “I’m hopeful that as a result of what we’ve done we will see that extension granted today because otherwise we’re still in the very real risk of crashing out without a deal on Thursday. ”
Talking about her bill, she said there are various reasons why December 9 makes more sense than Decem ber 12 for an election .
“Clearly, it’s three further days away from Christmas and I understand that the public appetite for an election around Christmas is not necessarily high so I think from the point of view of the economy and retailers, keeping it as far away as possible is helpful.
Pointing to one of the party’s motivations, she added: “Many students who live in two places but might only be registered to vote in one place. ”
Swinson also told the program:“ Jeremy Corbyn has been missing in action on Brexit. He has let down the millions of people in this country who absolutely passionately want to remain in the EU.
“What waiting would do is risk no-deal, because if we waste this extension and we end up in January with that 31 st of January deadline looming, assuming it is granted today, and we haven’t done anything with this time, then there’s no guarantee the EU will extend again and then no deal is back on the table. ”
EU set to grant three-month delay
The EU is planning to give the UK a Brexit extension until (January) , with an option to leave earlier if a deal is passed by parliament, according to reports.
Ambassadors for the remaining 27 countries hope to approve the three-month delay when they meet in Brussels at 9am GMT on Monday morning, it is claimed.
A draft agreement, leaked toThe Guardian, suggested the 31 January date has been written into a draft document in circulation.
All the details here:
PM ready to use Lib Dem-SNP idea as his’ Plan b ‘
The chances of a pre-Christmas election are rising after Boris Jonson revealed a “plan B” to send the UK to the polls, if he suffers an expected defeat in the Commons later today.
No 10 said it is ready to explore “all options” – including new legislation – to persuade MPs to back a snap ballot, even if that means abandoning its own Brexit deal.
The shift came after the dramatic move by the Lib Dems and SNP to use a one-line bill to trigger a 9 December election, provided the government withdrawal agreement bill is shelved.
Reports suggests Downing Street officials are now considering picking up the opposition parties’ idea of a one-li ne bill to bypass the Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA), since it would only require a simple majority.
The government could try to initially push to their own one -line bill for a 10 December or 12 December election from Tuesday if the FTPA route fails today, partly to deny the Lib Dems and SNP the victory of dictating the date of the poll.
Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has the details.
Good morning and welcome toThe Independent‘s live coverage of events at Westminster and Brussels, where EU ambassadors meet this morning and are expected to sanction another Brexit extension.
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