Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay confirms for first time Prime Minister Boris Johnson will ask E.U. for extension to Article 50

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will send a letter to the E.U. requesting an extension to Article 50 should he fail to secure a new withdrawal deal before the weekend, confirmed Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay M.P.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 11:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 1:08 pm
Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Prime Minister Johnson has repeatedly told the British public that he would not send such a letter and would never ask for another extension to Article 50.

Brexit Secretary Barclay made the comments during an appearance before the Exiting the European Union Committee of M.P.s on Wednesday morning.

"I can confirm, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly set out, that firstly the Government will comply with the law, and secondly it will comply with undertakings given to the court in respect of the law," he said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"I confirm that the Government will abide by what it set out in that letter," he added.

Prime Minister Johnson is legally required by the Benn Act to request an extension to Article 50 should he fail to agree a new withdrawal agreement with the E.U.

The Benn Act is a piece of legislation designed to stop the U.K. leaving the E.U. without a withdrawal agreement on October 31, 2019.

Prime Minister Johnson said at the beginning of September that he "would rather be dead in a ditch" than ask the E.U. for another extension to Article 50.

Updates to follow.