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Brexit: EU leaders agree to January 31 extension

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Brexit: EU leaders agree to January 31 extension

European Union leaders have agreed in principle to extend Brexit until January 31, 2020 – meaning the United Kingdom will not leave as planned on Thursday.

EU Council President, Donald Tusk, said it was a “flextension” – meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal was approved by the Parliament.

It comes as Members of Parliament prepare to vote on proposals by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for an early general election on December 12, the BBC reports.

The SNP and Lib Dems have also proposed an election on December 9.

The government has not ruled out getting behind that proposal date, if it fails to get its preferred date through the Commons later.

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The UK was due to leave the EU on Thursday, but Mr. Johnson was required to request an extension after Parliament failed to agree a Brexit deal.

The prime minister had repeatedly said the UK would leave on October 31 deadline with or without a deal, but the law – known as the Benn Act – requires him to accept the EU’s extension offer.

The president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, said the extension was “positive,” and “gives time for the UK to make clear what it wants.”

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