• STV
  • MySTV

Johnson accused of 'childish manoeuvres' over EU letters

The Prime Minister wrote to Brussels requesting a three-month delay to Brexit.

Brexit: Johnson struck new deal with Brussels this week.
Brexit: Johnson struck new deal with Brussels this week. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Boris Johnson has been accused of "childish manoeuvres" after sending two letters to European leaders - one requesting a Brexit delay and another opposing a delay.

The Prime Minister was legally obliged under the so-called Benn Act to request an Article 50 extension from the EU until the end of January.

The move was forced on him after he failed to secure Commons approval for his new Brexit deal by the October 19 deadline.

Johnson ordered a senior diplomat to send an unsigned letter requesting the delay, then sent a second note to European Council president Donald Tusk stressing he was only doing parliament's bidding.

In the second letter, the PM said a Brexit extension would be "deeply corrosive" and emphasised that his government supports leaving the EU on October 31 with no further delay.

'Although I would have preferred a different result today, the government will press ahead with ratification and introduce the necessary legislation early next week. I remain confident that we will complete that process by October 31.'
Boris Johnson letter to Donald Tusk

He wrote to Tusk on Saturday: "When I spoke in parliament this morning, I noted the corrosive impact of the long delay in delivering the mandate of the British people from the 2016 referendum.

"I made clear that, while I believe passionately that both the UK and the EU will benefit from our decision to withdraw and develop a new relationship, that relationship will be founded on our deep respect and affection for our shared culture, civilisation, values and interests.

"We will remain the EU's closest partner and friend. The deal we approved at last week's European Council is a good deal for the whole of the UK and the whole of the EU.

"Regrettably, parliament missed the opportunity to inject momentum into the ratification process for the new withdrawal agreement."

Johnson went on: "The UK parliament representative will therefore submit the request mandated by the EU (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019 later today.

"It is, of course, for the European Council to decide when to consider the request and whether to grant it.

The European Council president acknowledged receipt of the Brexit delay request and made no mention of the Prime Minister's second note.

Tusk tweeted: "The extension request has just arrived. I will now start consulting EU leaders on how to react."

Opposition parties have suggested Johnson is trying to circumvent the the law and could end up in court over the move.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1441724-brexit-mps-delay-approving-boris-johnson-s-brexit-deal/ | default

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "After being defeated on his extreme Brexit deal earlier, Boris Johnson is now attempting to scheme his way out of due process with childish manoeuvres.

"This is a Tory leader that is simply unfit for the office he holds.

"Boris Johnson is not above the law and if he does not fully abide by the Benn Act and secure an extension then we will see him in court.

"He has given the court an undertaking that he will not frustrate the purpose of the Benn Act - his latest antics suggest that is exactly what he intends to do."

Johnson had hoped to get backing for his Brexit deal at a special Saturday sitting of MPs.

But the Commons voted by 322 to 306 in favour of an amendment withholding approval of his Brexit deal until legislation to implement it is in place.

A defiant Prime Minister told MPs he would not negotiate a Brexit extension and later rang European leaders to say the delay request "is parliament's letter, not my letter".

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.