Tusk accepts extension

Brexit likely to be delayed to 31 January as election looms

Making a point: Boris Johnson was in no mood for compromise

Britain was braced for a further Brexit delay until the end of January after EU Council president Donald Tusk defied Boris Johnson and called for the divorce date to be pushed back.

Mr Tusk will recommend that EU countries accept the new date for the UK’s divorce from the European Union to avoid a No Deal exit.

His quick response to Mr Johnson’s letter on Saturday came after MPs first backed Mr Johnson’s deal but then voted against his plan to push it through the House of Commons in just three days. 

Mr Johnson responded to the victory by telling MPs that he would pause his efforts to try to get his deal agreed by Parliament while he waited for the EU to decide whether to grant a Brexit delay. 

Mr Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill was approved in principle by 329 to 299 meaning it has cleared the initial hurdle towards becoming law.

But he was thwarted in his attempts to fast-track it on to the statute book in time to get Britain out of the EU by 31 October as MPs voted 322- 308 against the timetable.

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