UK PM seeks another Brexit delay in letter to EU

Brexit Standoff as Boris Johnson Defies MPs' Vote to Delay EU Exit

"The best thing for the United Kingdom and the whole of Europe is for us to leave with this new deal on 31 October", he told the House of Commons after the vote for the amendment, which passed 322 to 306.

Critics have blasted Johnson's move.

The U.K. government warned earlier this year that in a worst-case scenario, a no-deal Brexit could lead to disruptions including long traffic jams at ports, shortages of food and medicines and problems for travelers.

Parliament has blocked attempts to force though a no deal exit, leaving Johnson to search for ways to defy legislators in the remaining days before the departure date.

The Conservative leader, who had to send the letter to abide by the law, also sent a second signed letter insisting he was not seeking an extension to the Brexit deadline, which has already been postponed twice.

Keir Starmer told the BBC on Sunday that "whatever deal gets through, it should be subject to a referendum".

Many lawmakers want to rule out the possibility that Britain could crash out of the bloc without a deal on the October 31 deadline - a prospect economists say would disrupt trade and plunge the economy into recession.

Johnson announced Thursday that he had reached a deal with European leaders for the leave the EU, but the agreement still needed to be approved by his country's Parliament.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched through London on Saturday demanding a "people's vote" on Brexit.

Rees-Mogg said the government now planned to put Johnson's deal to a debate and vote on Monday, but the house speaker, John Bercow, said he would rule on Monday whether to allow that.

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While tired of the tortuous Brexit process, European Union leaders are keen to avoid a disorderly no-deal Brexit and are unlikely to reject the request.

Reports also added that the European Council, the body that drives the EU's political priorities, has received Johnson's letter and its ambassadors will meet to discuss a way forward.

British media said Mr Johnson made it clear in the correspondence that he personally opposed an extension, with the Prime Minister previously saying he would rather be "dead in a ditch" before asking for a delay. But he followed it with a signed letter indicating that he does not favor another Brexit extension.

First, a brief cover note from Britain's European Union envoy explaining that the government was simply complying with the law; second, an unsigned copy of the text that the law, known as the Benn Act, forced him to write; and a third letter in which Johnson said he did not want an extension.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, was quoted Sunday as telling German daily Bild that "a good and orderly solution is still possible if Boris Johnson now reaches out to Parliament and seeks a cross-party solution".

Johnson, who has insisted that Britain will leave on October 31 come what may, added another note, however, in which he explained that he personally did not want the "deeply corrosive" postponement.

"The prime minister must now comply with the law".

But a second letter that accompanied the request had Johnson's signature.

Previous deal torpedoed On Saturday, MPs pushed through an amendment obliging a furious Johnson to ask for an extension until the British legislation governing the withdrawal is drafted and passed.

In a letter to Conservative MPs afterwards, he warned that the other 27 European Union states might reject parliament's request for a delay. However, he was legally compelled to request an extension on Saturday.

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