EU gives Britten another Brexit delay: a maximum of three months

Plenary session - European Council and Commission statements - Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019

The European Union is giving the United Kingdom a maximum of three months' delay for the Brexit as expected. EU President Donald Tusk said that. The British can also leave earlier than January 31 if the divorce agreement has been approved by the lower house earlier.

The EU ambassadors from the 27 other Member States agreed on Monday morning to the three-month delay requested by British Prime Minister Johnson. A hard Brexit without agreement on 31 October is thus definitively prevented.

The French government preferred a shorter delay, but nevertheless agreed to three months. The EU does, however, make it a strict requirement that the agreement on the departure conditions, which it concluded with Johnson this month, is not broken open.
Although the French government objected to a three-month delay, the current "but it may also be earlier" apparently suffices for Paris. Should the British parliament still agree on a severance arrangement, the brexit may be a fact on the first day of the following month, for example on 1 December.

The EU seems to assume that a no-deal brexit will be on the table on 31 October. The Brussels decision offers British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hope to be able to hold new elections this year, provided that he receives the support of part of the opposition.

Later today, Prime Minister Johnson wants to resubmit his proposal to hold early parliamentary elections. The opposition in the House of Commons only wants to cooperate in a harmful no-deal Brexit is definitively excluded, and if the House of Commons has approved all related British laws.

Those 'associated laws' can still cause major problems, for example because it is not yet clear what kind of trade agreement should be concluded between Great Britain and the EU. These negotiations could take up to three years. The Labor opposition in particular believes that part of the British economy and trade should remain connected in any way with the EU.

In addition, two opposition parties, the LibDems and the Scottish nationalists, have submitted their own proposals for early elections. With that, the control of those elections is taken over by the parliament, and no longer by the Conservative government. That proposal can only achieve a majority if a few dozen dissident Labor politicians support the proposal. Within Labor, just as in the ruling Conservative Party, there is a great deal of disagreement among politicians about whether or not to cancel EU membership.

In theory, it is also possible that the two parties will reach a joint compromise with the Conservative Party, but in view of the current political differences and hostile attitude between the British parties, that seems impossible.
Recent opinion polls show that the potential damage for the Conservative Party is much smaller, because Prime Minister Johnson "has done something". Labor, on the other hand, leads to a large ballot box loss, because many opponents of Brexit will go to the LibDems or Scottish nationalists or the Greens who can start an election campaign to stay in EU.