Johnson Requests Delay But Doesn't Sign The Letter

-edited

Johnson complied with the Benn Bill by sending two letters to the EU. The first requested an extension, wasn't signed.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sends Two Letter to Brussels the first seeking a delay, but the letter was not signed.

Boris Johnson has sent a request to the EU for a delay to Brexit - but without his signature. The request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, which says he believes that a delay would be a mistake.

The PM was required by law to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline after losing a Commons vote. EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he had received the extension request.

A senior Downing Street source said that the hard copy and email copy of the letter would be conveyed by Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's representative in Brussels.

The second letter from Mr Johnson - signed off this time - makes clear that he personally believes that a delay would be a mistake.

BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg described the decision to send three documents as "controversial", predicting "there will be a fight about whether Boris Johnson is trying to circumvent the court".

She added: "This is heading straight for the court, and it may very quickly end up in the Supreme Court."

Earlier, Mr Johnson rang European leaders, including Mr Tusk, to insist that the letter "is Parliament's letter, not my letter".

Parliament's Letter

Indeed, this was parliament's letter, and it was coerced.

That will be Johnson's claim.

At a minimum it is a reasonable legal challenge as opposed to outright defiance.

Second Letter Snips

"The UK Permanent Representative will... submit the request mandated by the EU (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019 later today. It is, of course, for the European Council to decide when to consider this request and whether to grant it.

"Although I would have preferred a different result today, the Government will press ahead with ratification and introduce the necessary legislation early next week. I remain confident that we will complete that process by 31 October.

"While it is open to the European Council to accede to the request mandated by Parliament or to offer an alternative extension period, I have made clear since becoming Prime Minister... that a further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners, and the relationship between us.

"We must bring this process to a conclusion so that we can move to the next phase and build our new relationship on the foundations of our long history as neighbours and friends in this continent."

Tusk Studying Response

Lawsuits Coming

Lawsuits will hit the deck on Monday, October 21. It will take at least two days for the courts to issue a ruling.

The EU may respond first, denying the extension without reason.

One possible reason could be an election. But does the EU want to sit with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn's idea of negotiating an agreement then holding a referendum on it?

And if Johnson wins, which seems likely, he could then safely opt for No Deal.

Window to Remove Johnson

Assuming court delays take two days the calendar will read October 23.

There will be time, in theory for a motion of No Confidence followed by a caretaker government. That would put the calendar at October 25.

Johnson would likely refuse to resign.

Whether there would time for a legal challenge or emergency legislation at that point is uncertain. Add two more days of delays and my conclusion is no.

At that point there would be a Hard Brexit or Parliament could pass deal in the last week, without amendments.

Stopping No Deal

These absurd shenanigans by people claiming to want to stop No Deal very well could lead to No Deal.

Ironically, there is a 100% surefire way to stop No Deal, and deliver a good deal at that. All parliament had to do was vote on Johnson's deal.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (80)
No. 1-20
themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

"Johnson Requests Delay But Doesn't Sign The Letter"

What a 14-year-old thing to do. "Nah! Nah! You can't make me!" is so sad in a supposedly respected position.

10 Replies

Harry-Ireland
Harry-Ireland

I actually admire his responsibility to the job given to him by the voters. Not often do you see a politician who actually does the job he was instructed to do by the people. And don't forget article 51, which might prove to be of great significance in this entire charade.

avidremainer
avidremainer

Nine and three quarters really, you are too kind.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Sure, signing ones name to something one has been forced to do, and on something one does not agree with on principle is a sure sign of an adult. Sure.

BaronAsh
BaronAsh

Smart: if they take him to Court for thwarting the spirit of the Law (he most certainly hasn't thwarted the letter of it - pun intended!), then the Court will compel him to sign if they toe the Remainer line. At which point the letter is null in Treaty Law as per Mish's prior post. Check mate (at least on that issue).

As Macron said last week, people keep underestimating Boris. They do so at their peril. If EU tries to play him too much, he'll find a way to exit on No Deal and squeeze them bad. They want good relations with UK now and he has offered to give them that.

Hush! Looks like Boris is in danger of becoming a true statesman, someone of great value and stature in both UK and Europe.

Quenda
Quenda

Why should he waste the 2 seconds it would take to sign it? He's complied with the parliamentary requirement. That's the end of the matter.

fla56
fla56

Nah, your just a pathetic bad loser who doesn’t like being outplayed

See you at the GE

Erik the Red
Erik the Red

Funny, remainers sound to me like the sullen teenager who won't/can't seem to leave their parents' house & live on their own. REAL mature!

Herkie
Herkie

14 year old's are often in the position of being told what to do. In this case though the Parliament has overstepped it powers and the separation of powers, they are in effect overriding the government's ability to negotiate. They are assuming powers they do not have. If not signing leaves open the possibility that the request was not binding in law then of course that is the logical thing to do when being coerced into an action that was not legal to start with.

Stuki
Stuki

Childish teentrums of this sort, is all that’s left for the arbitrary rulers of the once was West, in order for them to keep up attempting to sucker their increasingly clueless, uncritical and reliably indoctrinated designated underlings, into falling for the scam that arbitrary rule and rulers are somehow made more legitimate by these kinds of childish attempts at pretending The West still enjoys some meaningful rule of law.

It’s analogous to how the same arbitrary rulers of The West insist their clueless arbitrariness is somehow made more legitimate by prefacing it by “studies show” or “scientists say”, rather that the equally valid, or invalid, “God says” which our Muslim superiors prefer.

leicestersq
leicestersq

It has all gotten very silly.

You have a Parliament where the majority were voted in on a mandate the leave the EU, but who lied to their electorate and are now voting to remain.

You have a biased speaker allowing Parliament to undertake government business.

You have Remainer MPs trying to tell us that No Deal is bad for the UK when if you look at the facts, No tithe payments, reciprocal tariffs, government working for the people etc freed to make trade deals in our own interest, you have to conclude that is economically beneficial.

You have a supreme court making what ever law it likes up to overturn the will of the people.

You have people who just took part in a people's vote, marching around calling for another people's vote in order to overturn the will of the people.

Such is the cognitive dissonance in remainer land.

Harry-Ireland
Harry-Ireland

Well, he was forced to comply, regardless of his signature, he did so. I've never witnessed anything like this, ever before...more so than anything else, I just want this to be over with. And clearly, so does the majority of people. I've never had any faith in the EU or Macron, nor any respect for either. Perhaps they earn some by rejecting the extension to force the HMG to get it over with. Get it done, for the people's sake (and for fuck's sake)!

Freebees2me
Freebees2me

Forgive me, but it does seem a bit rich to see the Prime Minister roundly criticized for not signing a letter parliament told him to send, while the same parliament exhibits total disdain for the will of the majority of people as expressed in the referendum. The Prime Minister is expected to abide by the will of Parliament, but Parliament is not expected to abide by the will of the people. The hypocrisy is nauseating.

Let's be honest, this isn't about negotiating a "better" Brexit deal - this kabuki dance is about throwing enough sand in the gears to undo the referendum at all costs....people marched in London against Brexit complaining that they're not being listened to... Sorry, but yes they are! The bloody Brexit referendum passed...

The remainders know that once the UK leaves the EU and people see that the sun still comes up in the morning and life goes on, there will be zero appetite to jump back in the EU!

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

Poland and Hungary could easily vote against another Brexit extension.

Chipsm116
Chipsm116

For remainers (or at least those opposed to no-deal), there was no downside to not voting on Johnson's deal and attempting to get another extension. Right now, there are 3 possible situations:

  1. No Deal
  2. Johnson's Deal
  3. Extension

Extension leaves open the possibility of remain, whereas the first two do not. So long as that door is open, it's actually quite logical for remainers to push for continued extensions so long as they don't pay a political price. However, if the EU declines to kick the can down the road then this will leave Parliament with a choice between No Deal and Johnson's deal. With the choice between these two options, Johnson's deal almost certainly has the votes, as Mish made clear in one of his previous posts.

Like May, Johnson had attempted to frame the debate between his deal and no deal. However, there was always a third option, as we found out earlier today when Parliament refused to vote on his deal. The EU is the only party right now that can remove that option.

Once that option is removed, Johnson's deal will likely pass unless remainers can pull some sort of magical caretaker government out of a hat.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Macron can end this tomorrow. Hopefully, he will.

Bagger
Bagger

The EU Parliament could be the next stumbling block. They have to also ratify the "deal" but they will only start that process once UK has agreed it. Not sure of precise dates but I understand that EU Parliament doesn't from Monday 28th October to 14th November. If they don't pass the deal this week then it will be middle November, at earliest before they do. Rees-Mogg said Government would try again to have a meaningful vote on Boris's deal on Monday 21st October. So far, Speaker Bercow has said won't be allowed to happen. Next option is for Government to get the full Withdrawal Bill passed and use that as a Meaningful Vote but that could take several days for full debates etc. Lots more twists and turns yet. Come on Boris, you can do it.

krage
krage

I dont understand why Mish calls this a good deal. It could be considered worse than May's deal in the sense that it breaks UK in parts with one part - NI staying in EU... plus all other things - 30+ billion payment, following EU policies, no way to get rid of it unilateraly, etc... it is not a clean break.

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

If the EU gives a long extension (at least a few months) right away, the opposition would be free to take down the minority government. Elitist remainers (LibDems, rebel Tories, Blairites, etc.) would be a in a good position to push Corbyn away because not even a caretaker government would be needed. However, it contradicts EU communication, and it seem premature anyway.

The denial of any extension would play into the hands of Johnson but it would also strengthen Corbyn in his position. Elitist Remainers would be destroyed on an instant. Nonetheless, this is not in EU interests.

I am speculating but I expect a short extension (a few weeks). The EU will claim that they don't intervene into British politics. Tricks will continue in Parliament with a caretaker government still in the cards.

CrypticPseudonym
CrypticPseudonym

This stalemate can go on until March at the latest, when the EU budget is to be approved. Johnson can then threaten to veto it if anymore extensions will be offered.

The only option left to remainers will be vote of no confidence, an option that they are clearly loathe to do, and not just because it would make that imbecile Corbyn the PM.

That may put it off until the next election (which there would be enormous pressure to bring forward), but no further. Brexit is as certain as death itself, albeit better for the cost of living.

Quenda
Quenda

If the remainers succeed in obfuscating Brexit which is probably pretty likely at this point then I think they'll also succeed in driving the UK into recession.

But I think I've reached the point of ceasing to care now.

krage
krage

FT provides rather unbiased analysis given that it caters more to business community: .... A more likely route is for Downing Street to present the WAB implementation legislation to the House of Commons on Tuesday. The government would then hold two critical votes that day.

For the first, MPs would be asked to hold the landmark vote on the WAB, called a “second reading”. After Saturday’s setback, the government would likely portray this as the new and critical test of whether parliament supported Mr Johnson’s deal for leaving the EU.

For the second, MPs would be asked to vote on a “programme motion” stating that the WAB must go through all its parliamentary stages and get on to the statute book by October 31. This is the deadline by which Mr Johnson insists the UK must leave the EU.

If both votes pass, the government could amend the WAB at a later date to avoid the need for a meaningful vote altogether in the final stages of the Brexit process. 

Will the ‘second reading’ of the WAB pass? It is certainly possible. Careful reading of the way MPs voted on the Letwin amendment suggested Mr Johnson could win a second reading vote on the WAB by a slim margin. By remaining vague over whether he would ask for an extension to Article 50 of the EU exit process, Mr Johnson would also compound MPs’ fears that the alternative to backing his pact was a no-deal Brexit.

But many MPs will resist the idea of restricting debate on such a complex and important piece of legislation as the WAB to an October 31 deadline. They will want longer. And if Mr Johnson is forced into a three-month Article 50 extension, the WAB could be debated until well into the new year.

Where does this leave possible outcomes?  The chances of no-deal Brexit on October 31 still looks quite remote. This is because Mr Johnson is almost certain to lose any legal challenge over his need to abide by the Benn Act. Once he loses, the EU will not refuse an extension to Article 50 because it does not want to be blamed for no-deal. .....

Wilwhooty
Wilwhooty

I voted Remain. But seeing how politicians are acting like this and wasting our tax money, it's disgusting. People voted leave and it was the biggest democratic process. Simple is that to move on. Now delay after delay. Bring on the second referendum, I will OUT or No Deal!

SleemoG
SleemoG

Longest blimp collision in history. Who gives af anymore?

dansilverman
dansilverman

The BBC, of course, is saying now an extension is the most likely outcome. That's what the remainers and most of the media are gunning for. They want Brexit stopped in it's tracks. They will do that by an extension, election and second referendum where the remainers controls the outcome. If the EU sees a no-deal on the horizon, they will grant this extension, there stand to loose a lot of money in a no-deal scenario. The question for Boris is, "WILL HE HAND TOUGH?" Will he stay in power and see this through, deal or no-deal. If he doesn't, the Brexit party will split the conservative vote in a new election and a Labor-Lib Dem coalition government will take over. This is the plan the remainers are counting on to stop Brexit altogether.

Mish
Mish

Editor

I agree an extension is likely - that is not the issue. How long and for what purpose? Those are the questions

Mish
Mish

Editor

Johnson may very well rescind his extension request or get the EU to cooperate on a short ratification-only extension.

Otherwise the EU is gambling on an election after having negotiated a deal that it is comfortable with.

alexachang
alexachang

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JustASimpleMan
JustASimpleMan

Everything hinges on how much more deeply Bercow wants to interfere with the timetable of the inevitable outcome.

The speaker is ritually dragged to the chair on appointment because more than one got executed by the monarch. Methinks someone is going to have to drag him OUT of the chair this week if we're not going to have all hell let loose on the streets. A hundred thousand people wearing EU berets versus an outbreak of tattooed fruitcakes with sticks and petrol bombs won't be a pretty sight. God help us if this doesn't get sorted this week.

.

LisaTaylor7
LisaTaylor7

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