(Bloomberg) — Boris Johnson insisted he still wants the U.K. to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 but said he’s waiting for the EU to respond officially to his letter requesting a delay before setting out his plans. European Council President Donald Tusk told Johnson in a phone call earlier that he would be recommending a delay to the other 27 member states and Irish premier Leo Varadkar said there may be a summit of leaders as soon as Friday to decide on an extension.The prime minister earlier failed to reach agreement with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on a new timetable to push his Brexit through Parliament. The two men met in Westminster after Parliament rejected Johnson’s plan to rush the bill, which turns his Brexit deal into law, through Parliament in just three days.Key Developments:German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas hints a Brexit delay could come with conditionsOpposition Labour Party says its willing to back early election if risk of no-deal Brexit is removedJohnson insists he still wants U.K. to leave on Oct. 31Investors nerves are beginning to show as Brexit clarity elusiveBrexit Twists Point to Election. Here’s How It Works: QuickTakeJohnson Sees Possible France Veto: Labour (1:45 p.m.)Boris Johnson told Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in their meeting Wednesday that French President Emmanuel Macron could veto a Brexit extension, and asked Corbyn how he would respond. Corbyn expressed his doubt about that scenario, according to a Labour Party spokesman.Corbyn also reiterated to the prime minister that Labour would back a general election once the threat of a no-deal Brexit has been removed, the spokesman said.Earlier, a spokesman for the prime minister said he didn’t expect further talks with Labour on a new timetable for the government’s Brexit bill after Parliament rejected Johnson’s accelerated schedule on Tuesday (see 12 p.m.).EU Leaders May Meet on Extension: Varadkar (1:35 p.m.)EU heads of state may meet as soon as Friday to decide on the U.K.’s request for a Brexit extension until January, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in Parliament in Dublin. The meeting may take place on Monday if the leaders don’t all immediately agree to extend, he said.The new withdrawal agreement negotiated by Boris Johnson will not be changed, Varadkar said, adding that even if the deal is approved, the transition period may need to be extended beyond the end of 2020.Varadkar, who spoke to Johnson by phone on Tuesday night, said the U.K. leader was "very pleased" to have a won a vote on his deal in the London Parliament but "concerned" his timetable to get his plan approved had been defeated.Tusk tells Johnson He’s Recommending Delay (1:15 p.m.)European Council President Donald Tusk told Boris Johnson in a phone call that he will be recommending to the other 27 member states that they should grant the prime minister’s request for an extension.“I gave reasons why I’m recommending the EU27 accept the U.K. request for an extension,” Tusk wrote on Twitter.Johnson, who wrote to the EU to ask for a delay on Saturday evening after losing a vote in Parliament, told Tusk he “continues to believe that there should be no extension,” his spokesman James Slack told reporters in London. A further delay would not be in the interests of either side, Slack said.EU Ambassadors to Discuss Extension (12:45 p.m.)Ambassadors from the EU’s other 27 governments will meet in Brussels at 5:30 p.m. local time to discuss the U.K.’s request for a Brexit delay.They can’t make the final decision — that will have to come from EU Council President Donald Tusk on behalf of all the leaders — but they will give a sense of what the EU’s response will be.It could be that the decision is a formality, or Tusk will have to convene a summit. Oct. 28 has been penciled in for that meeting, but most EU officials hope it won’t be necessary.Johnson Still Wants Brexit on Oct. 31 (12:40 p.m.)Boris Johnson told Parliament he still wants to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31, though he offered no path to achieving this goal.Asked by former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke to set out a new compromise timetable to get his Brexit bill through Parliament, Johnson said it would depend on how the EU responds the request for a Brexit delay that he sent to the bloc on Saturday night.“I think it would be still very much in the best interests of this country and democracy to get Brexit done by Oct. 31,” Johnson said.Deal ‘a Great Advance,’ Johnson Says (12:15 p.m.)Boris Johnson defended his deal with the EU and urged the opposition to enable him to push it through Parliament.“I believe the union is preserved and we are able to go forward together as one United Kingdom and do free trade deals that have been impossible under previous deals,” Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons. “This is a great advance for the whole of the U.K. and we intend to develop that with our friends in Northern Ireland.”“I do think it’s a great shame the House willed the end but not the means” in Tuesday night’s votes, Johnson said. He urged Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn to “get Brexit done” and accused him of having “no other purpose in seeking to disrupt Brexit than seeking a second referendum.”Johnson Meets Corbyn for Talks on Exit Law (12 p.m.)The premier hosted his arch rival, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, for a discussion in Parliament aimed at seeing whether there is any hope of agreeing a new timetable for MPs to debate and scrutinize the Brexit deal.Johnson was thwarted on Tuesday night when the House of Commons refused to allow him to rush his deal through Parliament and into law in a fast-track program. According to an official from Johnson’s Conservative party, Corbyn did not propose anything other than more delays and a referendum.A Labour Party spokesman said: “Jeremy Corbyn reiterated Labour’s offer to the prime minister to agree a reasonable timetable to debate, scrutinize and amend the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and restated that Labour will support a general election when the threat of a no-deal crash out is off the table.”France Waits To See How Long U.K. Needs (11.55 a.m.)France thinks the U.K. Parliament should be able to scrutinize the Brexit legislation in a matter of days and wants to wait for Johnson’s view on that before deciding how long to delay the exit date, according to a French official. The French believe a maximum of 15 days should be given, the official said, rather than the full three months to Jan. 31 that Johnson reluctantly requested.This contradicts the thinking in many European capitals, as suggested in a tweet last night by EU Council President Donald Tusk, that the EU should grant the U.K. a three-month delay, with the ability to end the extension early.Government Wants New Timetable for Bill: Smith (11:45 a.m.)Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, also a former chief whip, suggested the government’s priority is to propose a new legislative timetable for the government’s Brexit bill after the House of Commons rejected an accelerated schedule on Tuesday.Speaking to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Smith said he hopes to get a so-called program motion “that is to the satisfaction of a majority of people in this House and resolve this situation.” He also said he thought last night’s votes were the “beginning of the end of this chapter.”Nothing Agreed at Johnson-Corbyn Meeting: BBC (11:40 a.m.)The BBC said “nothing was agreed” at the reported meeting between Boris Johnson and Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn (see 11:30 a.m.) on a new timetable for the prime minister’s Brexit bill.Johnson, Corbyn Discuss New Timetable: Times (11:30 a.m.)Boris Johnson and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn are meeting to discuss a new timetable for the prime minister’s Brexit bill to be debated in the House of Commons, the Times newspaper reported on Twitter, without saying where it obtained the information.Varadkar Backs Brexit Extension (11 a.m.)Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar appeared to back a flexible extension to the Brexit process, after speaking to European Council President Donald Tusk. Varadkar confirmed his support for a delay, while both men noted that it would still be possible for the U.K. to leave before Jan. 31 if the withdrawal agreement is ratified before then, according to an Irish government statement.Fundamental Changes Needed: DUP’s Wilson (10:50 a.m.)Sammy Wilson, Brexit spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party, reiterated that his party would not support the withdrawal agreement in it’s current form, calling parts of it “unpalatable and unacceptable.”Wilson told RTE radio he would use a Brexit extension to persuade the U.K. government “to change its position” on the deal which he said would change Northern Ireland’s constitutional position within the U.K.“It’s very difficult to take at face value” assurances Johnson made in Parliament about light touch rules around movement between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, he said, adding his party would support a move by the prime minister to hold a general election.Maas Indicates Delay May Come With Conditions (10 a.m.)A Brexit extension to Jan. 31 shouldn’t simply be given by the European Union, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Wednesday, raising the prospect it may come with conditions. “We have to know: What is the basis for it? What will happen by then? Will there be an election?” Maas said to broadcaster N-TV.“Above all we have to know what the British are planning and what Johnson is planning. At the moment that’s once again completely unclear,” Maas said. A short extension of two or three weeks to get approval in Parliament, on the other hand, is “less of a problem.”Labour Wants Election Once EU Sets Delay (9:45 a.m.)Richard Burgon, Labour’s justice spokesman, said the main opposition party would back a general election as soon as the European Union agrees an extension, and as long as that extension is for more than just a few weeks.Burgon also said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s offer to work with the government to come up with a “reasonable” alternative timetable for scrutinizing the Brexit bill still stands.“Until a general election is called we’ll carry on making that offer, to try and improve that bill to make it closer and closer to what we would call a credible Leave option,” he said.Extension Needed to Break Impasse: Duncan-Smith (Earlier)Iain Duncan Smith, a hard-line Brexiteer and former leader of the Conservative Party, said he’d rather have an election than extend the timetable for passing the Brexit bill.If the EU grants a three month extension, then Parliament would take up all of that time and would hang amendments on it “like a Christmas tree,” he told Bloomberg TV.Earlier:Boris Johnson Eyes Election After Parliament Forces Brexit DelayJohnson Faces Extension Rebellion After Defeat: Brexit BulletinBrexit Has the British Fleeing to Europe: Leonid Bershidsky\–With assistance from Tim Ross, Anna Edwards, Helene Fouquet, Jessica Shankleman, Patrick Donahue and Greg Ritchie.To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net;Ian Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.net;Peter Flanagan in Dublin at pflanagan23@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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