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

Europe seeks new leader as bloc prepares for post-Angela Merkel era
World

Europe seeks new leader as bloc prepares for post-Angela Merkel era

Analysts have warned that none may be immediately capable of assuming the task, given the European Union's myriad challenges — ranging from internal disputes to the after-shocks of Brexit

EU proposes nine-month limit on COVID-19 vaccine validity for travel
World

EU proposes nine-month limit on COVID-19 vaccine validity for travel

The recommendation by the EU executive would need to be approved by the member states as well as the European Parliament

European Union health agency calls for urgent measures to reduce 'very high burden' of COVID-19
World

European Union health agency calls for urgent measures to reduce 'very high burden' of COVID-19

Under 70 percent of the overall population in the EU and the European Economic Area (Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) have been fully vaccinated