UK minister Michael Gove insists Brexit will happen by 31 October deadline despite Boris Johnson's delay request to EU

Brexit will happen by 31 October, British government minister Michael Gove said on Sunday.

Reuters October 20, 2019 18:04:47 IST
UK minister Michael Gove insists Brexit will happen by 31 October deadline despite Boris Johnson's delay request to EU
  • Brexit will happen by 31 October, British government minister Michael Gove said on Sunday

  • His statements come after UK lawmakers forced Boris Johnson to send a letter on Saturday to the EU requesting a delay

  • The move was designed to remove any risk that Britain could leave without a deal on 31 October

London: Brexit will happen by 31 October, British government minister Michael Gove said on Sunday, despite lawmakers forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to send a letter on Saturday to the EU requesting a delay.

UK minister Michael Gove insists Brexit will happen by 31 October deadline despite Boris Johnsons delay request to EU

File image of the Houses of Parliament in London. AP

Parliament thwarted Johnson’s attempt to secure backing for his EU divorce deal on Saturday, withholding their approval in order to trigger law passed last month to force him to send a letter to the bloc asking to push back the deadline to 31 January.

The move was designed to remove any risk that Britain could leave without a deal on 31 October.

“We are going to leave by 31 October, we have the means and the ability to do so,” Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal Brexit preparations, told Sky News.

“That letter was sent because parliament required it to be sent...but parliament can’t change the prime minister’s mind, parliament can’t change the government’s policy or determination.”

Johnson sent a letter to the European Union requesting a delay as the law required, but he did not sign it and he added another note saying he did not want a “deeply corrosive” Brexit extension.

Gove said the risk of leaving without a deal had grown. “We, if we had our victory yesterday, would have been on a clear flight path toward a deal,” he said. “Now, as a result of that vote, we cannot guarantee any extension will be granted.”

The president of the European Council Donald Tusk said he would consult EU leaders before responding to Johnson’s letter. However, it was unlikely that the EU’s 27 remaining member states would refuse Britain’s delay request.

Gove said government would now step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, including triggering its “Operation Yellowhammer” contingency plans.

“The risk of leaving without a deal has actually increased because we cannot guarantee that the European Council will grant an extension, that is why I will later today be chairing a Cabinet committee meeting...in order to ensure that the next stage of our exit preparations, our preparedness for a no-deal, is accelerated,” he said.

Updated Date:

also read

Germany expects more sanctions on Iran at EU foreign ministers’ meet in Brussels
World

Germany expects more sanctions on Iran at EU foreign ministers’ meet in Brussels

The European Union is likely to add 37 individual entries to its existing sanctions against Iran on Monday. The European Parliament too, has urged the global body to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organization at the earliest

Social media giant Meta fined additional USD 5.9 million for EU data protection breach
World

Social media giant Meta fined additional USD 5.9 million for EU data protection breach

The penalty follows a 390 million euro fine for Meta-owned media platforms Instagram and Facebook two weeks ago after they were found to have scorned the same EU rules

Boris Johnson makes surprise visit to Ukraine to meet President Zelenskyy, pledges support
World

Boris Johnson makes surprise visit to Ukraine to meet President Zelenskyy, pledges support

"... The suffering of the people of Ukraine has gone on for too long. The only way to end this war is for Ukraine to win – and to win as fast as possible. This is the moment to double down and to give the Ukrainians all the tool they need to finish the job," Johnson said in a statement.