Tuesday, July 16

EU chief’s warning as deal approved



The latest Brexit delay to 31 January 2020 may be the last one, an outgoing EU chief has warned.

Donald Tusk, who is stepping down as EU Council president at the end of November, intervened as MPs appear close to agreeing a pre-Christmas election.

Please make the best use of this time, he tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.

I also want to say goodbye to you as my mission here is coming to an end, the former Polish prime minister wrote in a message addressed to my British friends.

He added the formal decision to offer a three-month delay to avoid no-deal had been rubber stamped.

Mr Tusk has been a major figure in the Brexit negotiations, in charge of convening all major summits of EU leaders to sign off on delays requested by Britain and the deals secured with Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

His message echoes a similar theme from April, when a Brexit delay until 31 October was handed down from Brussels. Please do not waste this time, he implored.

Jean-Claude Juncker, his EU Commission counterpart, recently claimed that Brexit had been a waste of time and a waste of energy.

Parliament is due to vote for the fourth time on Tuesday on holding a general election before the end of the year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tried unsuccessfully three times to get a snap poll, but has fallen far short of the two-thirds support in the Commons he needed.

He is trying a different approach which only needs a simple majority to pass, and if it does Britons would head to the polls on Thursday 12 December.