PM will request Brexit delay if deal falls on Saturday – Brexit Minister

Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meet in Thornton Manor, Cheshire, Britain October 10, 2019. Noel Mullen/Handout via REUTERS

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

If the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson fails to get his deal past the House of Commons on Saturday, he will request a delay to the Brexit deadline.

That’s what the Brexit Minister Steve Barclay has said to the Brexit Committee earlier today.

Despite the fervent arguments from the Minister that the UK would leave the EU on October 31st, he said that the government would abide with the commitment it had previously given to the Scottish courts back in September.

‘I confirm that the government will abide by what it set out,’ Barclay told the Brexit Committee, adding that meant they Prime Minister would be sending a letter to the EU for the extension.

The move runs contrary to the Prime Minister’s earlier statements over a month ago that he would ‘rather be dead in a ditch’ than be coerced into requesting the extension.

Legislation was already passed in the House of Commons saying that the UK could not leave the EU without a deal. If the Prime Minister’s deal could not be agreed by the Parliament, he would need to seek the extension.

During the committee hearing, Barclay also explained that talks with Brussels had looked at the ‘political declaration,’ placing the next steps towards the divorce deal and a possible trade deal.

Barclay would not provide details of whether the PD would be presented to the parliament.

Read more:

Government drill for a no-deal Brexit scenario

‘Brexit was the trigger,’ a new Maltese citizen explains

No-Deal Brexit could impact Maltese tourism but UK holidays cheaper – economist

Stick with our principles

Meanwhile, the Democratic Unionist Party has said that it will not agree to the Prime Minister’s concession of a maritime customs border in the Irish Sea.

DUP MP Arlene Foster said that the party would, ‘stick with our principles’ that Northern Ireland had stay within the UK Customs territory.

Johnson has already said he would not be making the agreement without the DUP.

There is progress but issues remain

Across the border, the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said there are still ‘many issues’ needing to be resolved before there is a solid Brexit agreement.

This revolved around the proposals for the customs and tax arrangements. Added to this is getting the support from Northern Ireland to support them.

EU leaders are expected to meet for an EU summit on Thursday.

The UK is expected to leave the EU on the 31st October at 11PM local time.