BRITAIN will be able to leave the EU on November 30 if MPs pass Boris Johnson’s deal under a “flextension” being drawn up by EU chiefs.
European capitals are uniting around a delay until January 31 with the option for the UK to end it early if the agreement is ratified by the Commons.
If MPs pass Boris Johnson’s deal under a Brexit ‘flextension’, Britain could leave the EU on November 30
Some countries were even mulling adding a special clause authorising a November 15 exit in a bid to encourage Parliament to back the deal.
But Jeremy Corbyn’s decision not to back a General Election cast serious doubt on whether it will be signed off by Brussels today as planned.
EU sources had hoped the PM’s plan would give Emmanuel Macron – who has strongly opposed a long extension – a “ladder to climb down”.
But last night his Europe Minister Amelie de Montchalin said Paris needed concrete assurances of an election and would not “deal in political fiction”.
‘WE NEED FACTS’
She said: “If there are elections that are not just desired but announced, organised, then we will be able to take decisions. We need facts.”
And EU diplomats told The Sun that the Labour leader’s decision could prompt leaders to put off a decision until Monday – after MPs vote on whether to hold an election.
One said: “I doubt we’ll get white smoke now. This plays right into Macron’s hands.
“We’ll still try to converge around three months but it’s likely more member states will now be sympathetic to the French position.”
Labour leader is refusing to back a December 12 election until No Deal is taken off the table
French president Emmanuel Macron strongly opposes a long Brexit extension
EU ambassadors will meet this morning to decide whether or not to green light the delay.
If they kickstart a “written procedure” the extension paperwork will be drawn up over the weekend and will formally come into effect on Monday.
But if France and other member states decide to put off the decision an emergency summit could still be called next week.
The potentially lengthy delay means that Mr Johnson will be asked by eurocrats to appoint a new British commissioner.
If an election goes ahead on November 12 and the PM wins a majority, our exit date could even be New Year’s Day.
The revelations came after a frantic day of diplomacy yesterday when EU capitals pleaded with the PM to spell out his political strategy to them.
Many wanted to know whether he really intended to bulldoze his deal through the Commons or if he was just trying to engineer an election.
‘LAST CHAPTER OF THE BREXIT BOOK’
An EU diplomat told The Sun: “We don’t want to write the last chapter of the Brexit book. That’s for the British to do.”
Germany had argued strongly in favour of the January 31 date, saying to choose any other would plunge the EU into the UK’s internal political debate.
France had been holding out for a much shorter extension of just a few weeks to try and force a resolution to the deadlock.
Paris feared a three-month delay would take the pressure off MPs to back the deal – and that they would squander the time by also refusing an election.
As EU capitals paved the way for our exit Jean-Claude Juncker last night branded claims that Britain doesn’t belong in the bloc “bull****”.
The outgoing Commission chief accused Boris Johnson of “spreading lies” during the referendum campaign, saying he should have intervened.
He said: “I dont think that Brexit is in the interest of Britain or the EU. All of us will pay the price.”
But in a speech to a think tank in Brussels he moaned: “I have spent too much time with Brexit. It is enough now.”
Amelie de Montchalin says Paris needs concrete assurance of an election
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker accused Boris Johnson of ‘spreading lies’ during the 2016 referendum