The Latest: Germany welcomes 'good solution' on Brextension
The Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):
The German government is welcoming the European Union's agreement to delay Brexit until Jan. 31 next year.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that it was a "good solution."
Seibert told reporters in Berlin that it was "very positive" that the remaining 27 EU countries had shown unity on the issue.
He added that "the ball now lies with Great Britain. And it's important to use the additional time productively."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it's Parliament's fault, not his, that Britain will not be leaving the European Union as scheduled on Oct. 31.
The EU has agreed to postpone Brexit until Jan. 31, after Johnson failed to get British lawmakers to ratify his divorce deal with the bloc in time to leave this week.
Johnson grudgingly asked for the delay on the orders of Parliament. He has said for months that the U.K. will leave the EU on Oct. 31 "come what may" — with a Brexit deal or without one.
His spokesman, James Slack, says Johnson secured "a great new deal, he set out a timetable that would have allowed the U.K. to leave on Oct, 31 with that deal - and Parliament blocked it."
Slack says Johnson has not yet seen the EU letter confirming a Brexit delay.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has welcomed the European Union's decision to extend the Brexit deadline until the end of January.
Khan tweeted Monday that the decision was "good news" and takes the "immediate risk of a catastrophic no-deal" Brexit off the table.
The mayor said the extension should be used for a public vote on Brexit.
He says, "It's time to give the British public the final say on Brexit."
Britain's Parliament will consider the prospect of calling a national election at its Monday session. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants an election on Dec. 12 but may not have enough backing to get his way.
The government is strongly opposed to holding a second referendum on Brexit.
The European Council president says the bloc has agreed to grant Britain a new Brexit delay to Jan. 31 next year.
Donald Tusk said on Twitter "the EU 27 has agreed that it will accept the UK's request for a Brexit flextension (...). The decision is expected to be formalized through a written procedure."
Tusk's announcement came as European Union diplomats met in Brussels to sign off on the new delay to Britain's departure from the bloc, which had been due in just three days on Oct. 31.
It's the second time the Brexit deadline has been changed since the 2016 referendum on Britain's departure from the EU.
The French minister for European Affairs says she does not know when Brexit will happen, and insists Britain can still backpedal on its decision to leave the bloc.
Speaking on France Info radio, Amelie de Montchalin said it's still possible for Britain to revoke Article 50, meaning the U.K. would remain in the EU and cancel Brexit.
Montchalin said "the prime minister can pick up his phone and call Brussels to say: "I stop everything."
Montchalin added, however, that she believes it's important to respect the "British people's sovereign desire" expressed in the 2016 referendum on leaving the EU.
She spoke as ambassadors for the EU27 meet in Brussels on Monday to decide on a new Brexit delay. She said ambassadors will discuss the possibility of granting another extension to Jan. 31, 2020.
France was initially reluctant to extend the Brexit deadline beyond its scheduled date of Oct. 31, but Montchalin said the perspective of a new general election in Britain justifies a new delay.
European Union diplomats are meeting to decide whether to delay Britain's departure from the bloc, due in just three days.
British politicians, meanwhile, are wrangling over what to do with the extra time.
Ambassadors from the 27 other EU countries are meeting Monday to discuss Britain's request for a three-month postponement to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline. The bloc has agreed in principle, but has not fixed the extension's length.
In London, British politicians are set to vote on whether to hold an early election to try to break the country's deadlock over Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a Dec. 12 election, but looks unlikely to get the required support from two-thirds of lawmakers.
Two opposition parties plan to push for a Dec. 9 election if Johnson's proposal fails.