What Happened: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union on Oct. 19 requesting a further delay to the United Kingdom's departure from the bloc, BBC reported. But Johnson also sent a signed second letter telling Brussels that he personally thinks a delay would be a mistake. European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he had received Johnson's extension request.
Why It Matters: EU leaders have expressed weariness at the United Kingdom's tortuous journey to leave the European Union, but Brussels seems likely to grant the delay to avoid a disruptive no-deal Brexit. If the departure deadline is pushed back, Brexit opponents in the British Parliament will have the chance to scrutinize all aspects of the deal Johnson reached this week with the European Union and perhaps find more ways to slow or thwart the process.
Background: Johnson was required by law to ask Brussels for an extension to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline after the House of Commons postponed a decision on Oct. 19 on whether to support his Brexit deal.
- The EU and the U.K. Reach a New Brexit Deal. What's Next? (Oct. 17, 2019)
- How Brexit Could Play Out as the Deadline Draws Near (Oct. 14, 2019)
- Johnson Aims to Break the Brexit Deadlock With an Irish Border Offer (Oct. 3, 2019)