France says Brexit delay 'in nobody's interest'

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"There will be an amendment on a referendum, whether there will be detailed amendments put next week for the whole of the referendum I don't know". It essentially says that MPs are withholding approval of Johnson's deal until the actual legislation needed to enact it (called the Withdrawal Agreement Bill) is passed first.

Johnson has negotiated a new deal after replacing former premier Theresa May and brought his deal back to parliament after replacing the problematic "backstop" clause of the previous agreement.

In a setback to Johnson, MPs voted 322 for and 306 against on an important amendment introduced as an insurance policy against a default no-deal crash-out by the month-end deadline.

"I will now start consulting European Union leaders on how to react".

While Johnson was forced to request an extension on Saturday, if MPs back his deal this week that extension will no longer apply.

Johnson sent three letters to European leaders late on Saturday, according to NBC News. After this, it adds that "if the parties are able to ratify before this date, the government proposes that the period should be terminated early".

But the former leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly, Andrew RT Davies, urged MPs to back the prime minister's deal.

While the Downing Street stance is that the UK PM has complied with the Benn Act by sending the Parliament's letter, there is some speculation if it opens up the prospect of legal action by it being an unsigned request. This is equally sparse and merely informs the European Union that the first letter has been sent.

His comments Sunday come after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reluctantly asked for an extension to Britain's scheduled October 31 departure from the EU.

The third letter is from Johnson to Donald Tusk, president of the EU Council.

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of anti-Brexit demonstrators marched to Parliament Square in London, insisting on a new referendum on whether Britain should stay or leave the EU.

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Johnson's choice of words here is instructive.

After losing a knife-edge Commons vote on Saturday on a delay to his deal, Johnson sent an unsigned copy of the letter required by the act but also sent another personal letter to Brussels that explicitly asked European Union leaders not to agree yet to an extension.

He suggests that, in terms of a possible extension, "it is for the European Council to decide when to consider the request and whether to grant it". He also insisted that he remained committed to leaving the European Union on October 31 and he plans to introduce legislation implementing the deal this week in parliament.

"It means that we are preparing to ensure that, if no extension is granted, we have done everything possible in order to prepare to leave without a deal".

Acting on Lord Keen's behalf, the government's lawyers told the court there was no need to issue an interdict because Johnson accepted "that he is subject to the public law principle that he can not frustrate its objective or the goal of its provisions". He now appears perilously close to another clash. The second letter from Mr Johnson - signed off this time - makes clear he personally believes a delay would be damaging. This is known as the Padfield principle.

This could of course be bluster born out of aggravation at having lost the opportunity to get the House of Commons to vote on his deal.

As has been the case through much of the Brexit debate, the Sunday morning talk shows in Britain focused on the political fallout and the artful bobbing and weaving - with not much about what Johnson's deal would mean for economy or the average person.

MPs now face a busy time.

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However, senior figures hinted Sunday that they could let it go through, subject to amendments including a second referendum pitting a divorce deal against remaining in the bloc after all. Nor have the customs and consent issues regarding Northern Ireland been resolved.

"I continue in the very strong belief that the best thing for the United Kingdom, and for the whole of Europe, is for us to leave with this new deal on October 31".

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