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Taoiseach backs calls to grant Brexit extension until January 2020

European Council president Donald Tusk recommended an extension yesterday.

Varadkar and Tusk at Government Buildings.
Varadkar and Tusk at Government Buildings.
Image: Leah Farrell

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has backed a call by European Council president Donald Tusk to grant an extension to the Brexit deadline of 31 October. 

British PM Boris Johnson attempted to have his Brexit deal rushed through parliament in a bid leave the EU before the end of the month, but it was shot down by the House of Commons. 

The alternative was to seek an extension to give MPs more time to ratify the agreement, and the date now being suggested is 31 January 2020.

Yesterday, Tusk recommended that the EU permit an extension to allow the passage of the bill in Westminster. 

In a statement, it was confirmed that Varadkar spoke with Tusk this morning regarding the UK’s request for an extension. 

“The Taoiseach confirmed his support for President Tusk’s proposal to grant the request for an extension which was sought by the UK.

“They noted that it would still be possible for the UK to leave before 31 January 2020 if the Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified in advance of that date.”

It added the issue would likely be discussed at an EU committee meeting in Brussels tonight. 

Johnson said last night that he would press pause on the WAB and that the EU would make a call on how to proceed. 

House Speaker John Bercow has said that the technical term used for the current status of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is that it is in “limbo”.

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