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Live Updates: UK is Going to Leave EU by 31 October - British Ministers

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to sign a letter by British lawmakers asking Brussels for another Brexit delay, calling the possible extension “deeply corrosive” for the country.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove stated on Sunday that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union by the 31 October deadline, noting that Parliament can't change the government's stance on the matter.

He also stressed that the risk of a no-deal scenario has grown as the bloc can't guarantee another delay for London.

The statements come after Johnson denied reports that he asked European Council President Donald Tusk to set a new Brexit deadline for 31 January 2020, stressing that Parliament had forced the cabinet to send the letter to Brussels.

© REUTERS / Yves HermanA woman holds a sign as she attends a protest against Brexit outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 9, 2019.
Live Updates: UK is Going to Leave EU by 31 October - British Ministers - Sputnik International
A woman holds a sign as she attends a protest against Brexit outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 9, 2019.

MPs also adopted a bill on Thursday, withholding approval on the deal with the EU, negotiated by the PM earlier in the week, and urging Johnson to extend the Brexit withdrawal date. Brussels asked British officials to comment on the country's next step, while Tusk said that consultations within the bloc may take up to several days.

New firstOld first
17:32 GMT 20.10.2019

The postponement would be "fungible", meaning that Britain could leave earlier, on 1 or 15 November, December, or January, if the withdrawal deal is ratified before the extension ends, The Sunday Times reported, citing diplomatic sources.

14:43 GMT 20.10.2019

Finland, which currently holds the presidency of the European Union, considers it "sensible" to delay the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the bloc until January 31 next year, Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said in a statement on Sunday.

"Finland – together with the other EU countries – considers it important that the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the United Kingdom be approved. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit is in the interests of citizens and businesses of both the European Union and the United Kingdom. The EU will continue with its preparations and ratification process in line with the negotiated agreement," the statement read.

He added that London might be given extension to consolidate its stance on Brexit.

"European Council President Donald Tusk will be contacting the EU heads of state or government so that the EU-27 can take a position on the UK Government’s request to postpone the exit date until 31 January 2020. I think it would be sensible to grant an extension, and I hope that in the UK progress will be made with processing the withdrawal agreement," Rinne wrote.

11:10 GMT 20.10.2019
09:40 GMT 20.10.2019

"We're preparing to ensure that if no extension is granted that we have done everything possible in order to leave without a deal", the official said, announcing that the government is "triggering Operation Yellowhammer".

The plan aims to prevent the worst-case options that may follow a hard Brexit, including issues regarding the status of UK citizens in Europe, possible food supply disruptions or sudden price hikes due to panic buying, border crossing issues, banking and finance industry problems, healthcare, national security, and others.

09:23 GMT 20.10.2019

According to Labour's Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer, the head of the government was behaving like a child when he sent a second letter to the EU, denouncing the first one, and saying it was not from him, but from the MPs.

"He is being childlike. The law is very clear he should have signed one letter... If we crash out, because of what he has done with the letters, in 11 days’ time without a deal he bears personal responsibility for that", Starmer told the BBC, adding that the opposition plans to close "a trap door", removing the possibility of a no-deal option at the end of a transition period in December 2020.

09:17 GMT 20.10.2019

"I am absolutely behind the government now as long as they continue with this bill, continue with the deal, I will support it, I will vote for it", the lawmaker told BBC television. "There will be no more Oliver Letwin amendments next week because there don’t need to be, I am supporting the bill".

09:01 GMT 20.10.2019

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said that many people in the European Union are deeply uncomfortable about a further Brexit delay. He stated there are now enough votes in support of Johnson's plan in the House of Commons to pass the agreement with the EU.

"He [Boris Johnson] has got that deal. We seem to have the numbers in the House of Commons. Why hasn't Parliament pushed this through? That is what we are going to do next week", he told the BBC

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