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Why on earth the excruciating EU #Brexit extension dance?? Brussels promised to announce ‘end of last week’, then crystallising to ‘Friday’ then Tues or even Weds, now today.. Essentially the delay confusion has been a messy-make-it-up-as-you—go-along political dance /1
Well, at first it looked like all EU leaders were open to the 3 month extension mentioned in PMs extension request letter. But then France dug heels in. Staying with foot analogy: Macron wanted shorter extension to keep MPs feet to the fire.. EU proposed 2 tier extension /2
To please all. Phase one runs out November, in hope that will make gov/MPs concentrate and vote on newly negotiated #Brexit deal. Phase 2, running out 31 Jan would kick in if deal failed to be passed in phase 1. This was in place Thursday BUT then PM started push for elex /3
EU leaders intended newly negotiated #Brexit deal to be voted on ASAP, not be used as an election prop. They didn’t want extension to be used as election prop either SO they pulled back from extension announcement. Decided to wait till after Monday’s parliamentary vote on elex /4
EU aim: to remove UK focus on EU extension as catalyst for decisions of UK political parties. But then this weekend Lib Dems + SNP announced they’re open to elex before today’s parliamentary vote. This nudged EU to announced ‘flextension’ earlier than expected this week .. /5
Brussels now awaits the PMs approval to formalise extension. The approval is required under EU law but this is uncomfortable for Boris Johnson who has tried so hard to distance himself from the new #Brexit delay he swore he’d never request /6
Once EU has the UKs formal approval, it will issue new extension in written form. Diplomats say that process takes 24 hours but realistically it’s ready to go now as soon as PM gives formal nod .. /7
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