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EU agrees to delay Brexit until January 31

It's the second time the Brexit deadline has been changed since the 2016 referendum on Britain's departure from the EU.

By AP in London

  • Published 28.10.19, 3:43 PM
  • Updated 28.10.19, 3:43 PM
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts while he speaks to chief nurse Nicola Burns-Muir at the children's ward of Milton Keynes University Hospital in Milton Keynes, England, Friday October 25, 2019
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts while he speaks to chief nurse Nicola Burns-Muir at the children's ward of Milton Keynes University Hospital in Milton Keynes, England, Friday October 25, 2019 AP

The European Council president on Monday said the bloc has agreed to grant Britain a new Brexit delay to January 31 next year.

Donald Tusk said on Twitter, "the EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK's request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020. The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure."

Tusk's announcement came as European Union diplomats met in Brussels to sign off on the new delay to Britain's departure from the bloc, which had been due in just three days on October 31.

The bloc had earlier agreed on the extension in principle, but did not fix the length of the delay.

It's the second time the Brexit deadline has been changed since the 2016 referendum on Britain's departure from the EU. 

Meanwhile, speaking on France Info radio, Amelie de Montchalin said it's still possible for Britain to revoke Article 50, meaning the UK would remain in the EU and cancel Brexit.

Montchalin said "the Prime Minister can pick up his phone and call Brussels to say: "I stop everything."

Montchalin added, however, that she believes it's important to respect the "British people's sovereign desire" expressed in the 2016 referendum on leaving the EU.

France was initially reluctant to extend the Brexit deadline beyond its scheduled date, but Montchalin said the perspective of a new general election in Britain justifies a new delay.

British politicians are set to vote on whether to hold an early election to try to break the country's deadlock over Brexit.

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