Johnson Requests Delay But Doesn't Sign The Letter
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sends Two Letter to Brussels the first seeking a delay, but the letter was not signed.
Boris Johnson has sent a request to the EU for a delay to Brexit - but without his signature. The request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, which says he believes that a delay would be a mistake.
The PM was required by law to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline after losing a Commons vote. EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he had received the extension request.
A senior Downing Street source said that the hard copy and email copy of the letter would be conveyed by Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's representative in Brussels.
The second letter from Mr Johnson - signed off this time - makes clear that he personally believes that a delay would be a mistake.
BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg described the decision to send three documents as "controversial", predicting "there will be a fight about whether Boris Johnson is trying to circumvent the court".
She added: "This is heading straight for the court, and it may very quickly end up in the Supreme Court."
Earlier, Mr Johnson rang European leaders, including Mr Tusk, to insist that the letter "is Parliament's letter, not my letter".
Indeed, this was parliament's letter, and it was coerced.
That will be Johnson's claim.
At a minimum it is a reasonable legal challenge as opposed to outright defiance.
Second Letter Snips
"The UK Permanent Representative will... 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 this request and whether to grant it.
"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 31 October.
"While it is open to the European Council to accede to the request mandated by Parliament or to offer an alternative extension period, I have made clear since becoming Prime Minister... that a further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners, and the relationship between us.
"We must bring this process to a conclusion so that we can move to the next phase and build our new relationship on the foundations of our long history as neighbours and friends in this continent."
Tusk Studying Response
Lawsuits will hit the deck on Monday, October 21. It will take at least two days for the courts to issue a ruling.
The EU may respond first, denying the extension without reason.
One possible reason could be an election. But does the EU want to sit with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn's idea of negotiating an agreement then holding a referendum on it?
And if Johnson wins, which seems likely, he could then safely opt for No Deal.
Window to Remove Johnson
Assuming court delays take two days the calendar will read October 23.
There will be time, in theory for a motion of No Confidence followed by a caretaker government. That would put the calendar at October 25.
Johnson would likely refuse to resign.
Whether there would time for a legal challenge or emergency legislation at that point is uncertain. Add two more days of delays and my conclusion is no.
At that point there would be a Hard Brexit or Parliament could pass deal in the last week, without amendments.
Stopping No Deal
These absurd shenanigans by people claiming to want to stop No Deal very well could lead to No Deal.
Ironically, there is a 100% surefire way to stop No Deal, and deliver a good deal at that. All parliament had to do was vote on Johnson's deal.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock