BORIS Johnson was forced to ask for an extension after remainer MPs once again tried to tie his hands and block Brexit.
The Prime Minister sent three letters to European Council President Donald Tusk after his plans were scuppered. Here’s what we know about what was in them.
What was in the first unsigned extension letter?
The PM’s refused to sign the first letter he was forced to send after his Super Saturday plans were ruined by Sir Oliver Letwin’s plot.
That note was a photocopy of the call by MPs to delay withdrawal from the bloc.
After the crushing loss he rang European leaders – including Mr Tusk – declaring that the first letter “is Parliament’s letter, not my letter”.
Mr Tusk confirmed he received the extension request from Mr Johnson.
He said on Twitter: “The extension request has just arrived. I will now start consulting EU leaders on how to react.”
Boris was forced to send the letter after an amendment was put forward by Sir Oliver Letwin, a Tory minister who had the whip removed in September.
It withheld approval for Boris Johnson’s deal until Parliament has passed the necessary law to enact the agreement, triggering the Benn Act, which requires the PM to write a letter to the EU seeking a three-month extension.
It effectively kicks the can down the road on Brexit until the necessary legislation has been passed through Parliament, which will be the week after next at the earliest.
In theory, it is still possible with the amendment that Brexit could be delivered by October 31.
Immediately after the blocking, Boris insisted he would not enter “negotiations” with Brussels over a delay.
He insisted that it was still the “best thing for the UK” to leave with his new deal on October 31.
He said: “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so.
“No delays, and I will continue to do all I can to get Brexit done on October 31.”
The Letwin Amendment was put forward by Sir Oliver Letwin, pictured[/caption]
What was in the second letter from Britain’s EU Ambassador?
A second note, written by the UK’s Permanent Representative in Brussels, Sir Tim Barrow, made it clear the first letter was not from the PM.
The letter from the ambassador was sent as a covering letter to the unsigned one sent by Boris.
In it he said that “Her Majesty’s Government will introduce the necessary legislation next week in order to proceed with ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.”
Sir Tim Barrow sent the second letter to the EU[/caption]
What was in Boris Johnson’s personal letter to Donald Tusk?
Mr Johnson also sent Mr Tusk a personal letter stating he personally is not asking for an extension – and signed it at the bottom.
In it, the PM said a Brexit extension would be “deeply corrosive” and his stance is likely to spark a fierce political row.
He said he was “deeply grateful” to him for his help which enabled him to “achieve a historic milestone” by putting a new deal on the table.
Mr Johnson wrote: “Regrettably, Parliament missed the opportunity to inject momentum into the ratification process for the new Withdrawal Agreement.
“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.
“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 our peoples share.
“I am passionately committed to that endeavour.”