Britain will remain in the European Union until next year unless Parliament ratifies Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal sooner, the remaining member states have agreed.
Following a meeting of ambassadors, European Council president Donald Tusk said the EU27 would accept the UK’s request for a Brexit “flextension” until 31 January.
The prime minister has said in the past that he would prefer to be “dead in a ditch” than miss the 31 October deadline.
Tusk tweeted: “The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK’s request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020.
“The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure.”
The announcement will pile pressure on opposition parties to decide whether to back a pre-Christmas general election, with MPs voting later on Monday on a government bid to hold a poll on 12 December.
Labour has said it will only back the move if Johnson makes “absolutely clear” that no-deal is off the table and a January extension is granted.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats and SNP have put forward a bill that would grant an election on 9 December – three days earlier than the PM’s suggested polling date – as long as the European Union grants an extension until 31 January.
The prime minister’s election bid on Monday, to be made under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA), would require a two-thirds Commons majority – 434 MPs – to agree to an election on 12 December.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?