Boris Johnson tonight revealed that he will send the Brexit extension letter but will tell EU leaders not to delay Brexit and will refuse to negotiate an extension.
Boris Johnson will tell the EU he does not want a Brexit delay despite MPs forcing him to request one.
The Commons voted 322 to 306 in favour of an amendment postponing a decision on the PM’s deal, and activating the Benn Act – a Remainer law that compels him to send a letter by 11pm tonight asking Brussels for a delay.
But Mr Johnson was defiant in the Commons, sparking confusion over whether he will comply with the legislation or try to find a loophole to keep his ‘do or die’ promise to sever ties by October 31.
An EU official said Mr Johnson had confirmed to European Council President Donald Tusk that he would send a letter requesting an extension.
“Tusk will on that basis start consulting EU leaders on how to react. This may take a few days,” the official added.
Mr Tusk revealed on Twitter he had spoken to Mr Johnson but was “waiting for the letter”.
Mr Johnson wrote to all MPs and peers after the Commons vote to state he will “not negotiate a delay with the EU”, while he will also tell Brussels that “further delay is not a solution”.
‘The best thing for the UK and for the whole of Europe is for us to leave with this new deal on October 31,’ he said. ‘I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so.’ He added: ‘No delays, and I will continue to do all I can to get Brexit done on October 31.’
And in a letter revealed tonight: ‘I will not negotiate a delay with the European Union.
I will tell the EU what I have told the British public for my 88 days as Prime Minister: further delay is not a solution.’
He also warned the EU could possibly “reject parliament’s request for further delay, or not take a decision quickly”.
The prime minister suggested, in those circumstances, MPs could yet be faced with a choice between his deal or a no-deal Brexit.