The European Union agreed to London’s request for a Brexit deadline extension on Friday but set no new departure date, giving Britain’s divided parliament time to decide on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for a snap election, Reuters informs.
“There was full agreement on the need for an extension,” an EU official said after ambassadors to the 27 other EU member states met to discuss postponing Britain’s exit from the bloc, less than a week before the current deadline of October 31.
“Work will continue over the weekend,” the EU official said, adding that the envoys would meet again in Brussels on Monday or Tuesday.
The British PM admitted that he will not meet his “do or die” deadline of October 31 and has demanded a vote in parliament on Monday on whether to have a snap election on December 12.
The EU envoys, who met for about two hours, had been due to discuss the length of a third delay to Brexit but diplomats said they were reluctant to set a date because it could dictate the direction of political events in London.
According to a draft document seen by Reuters ahead of Friday’s meeting, a delay was to be granted “with the view to allowing for the finalization of the ratification” of the divorce agreement the EU 27 sealed with Johnson last week.
The draft text left the new Brexit date blank, but said the split could take place earlier if ratification was completed earlier – an idea known as “flextension”, an amalgamation of the words “flexible” and “extension”.