Boris Govt Prepares for No Deal Brexit, But EU Could Delay It Until 2020

EU says Britain needs new plan as Brexit clock runs out

Boris Johnson’s government is ramping up preparations for a clean, no-deal break with the European Union on October 31st — but the bloc may be about to extend the Brexit deadline until 2020.

The Prime Minister has been forced to ask the bloc for a Brexit delay — which would be the third since Brexit was supposed to take place on March 29th — by legislation rammed through Parliament by Remainers, and it is now up to the European Council to decide whether to accept it or not.

Some Brexiteers are holding out hope that one of the national leaders on the Council will exercise their right of veto, but the bloc appears poised to agree a Brexit delay until February, according to The Times.

“The European Council should now grant a final long one, giving the UK time to sort itself out to prepare for all possible resolutions including a second referendum,” believes Norbert Röttgen, a key henchman of Germany’s Angela Merkel in their country’s parliament.

MPs have passed legislation mandating that the Prime Minister may not take the United Kingdom out of the EU without a deal unless they agree, and not with a deal unless they ratify it, either.

However, the matter will be out of their hands if the EU decides not to agree to a delay, with a no-deal break taking place automatically on October 31st.

“The risk of leaving without a deal has actually increased because we cannot guarantee that the European Council will grant an extension,” explained Michael Gove, the Cabinet minister who has been tasked with No Deal preparations.

“It means we are triggering Operation Yellowhammer, it means we are preparing to ensure that if no extension is granted – and we cannot guarantee that an extension will be granted – that we have done everything possible to prepare to leave without a deal,” he added.

If the EU just decide to reject an extension, and MPs do not pass Boris Johnson’s deal, Parliament’s only means of stopping Brexit would be finding a way to deploy the nuclear option of cancelling the Article 50 notice of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU outright, likely against the Government’s will.

This would be a politically fraught and legally questionable course of action, however, as while EU judges have agreed that an exiting member-state can cancel their withdrawal unilaterally, they can only do so if they really intend to stay, and may not immediately reopen the question of leaving.

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