London. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reluctantly sent a letter to EU, asking for a Brexit extension after MPs voted to force him into seeking a delay beyond October 31. However, Johnson refused to sign the letter which he sent to European Council President Donald Tusk on late Saturday, BBC reported. He also sent a second signed letter after that insisting he was not seeking an extension to the Brexit deadline, which has already been postponed twice.
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"Regrettably, parliament missed the opportunity to inject momentum into the ratification process," Johnson wrote in the signed letter, regretting that EU leaders would now have to spend yet more time on Brexit. "A further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners, and the relationship between us. We must bring this process to a conclusion', he wrote.
The PM was required by law to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline after losing a Commons vote. Meanwhile, EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he had received the extension request. He added he would now consult EU leaders "on how to react".
Hours after losing a crunch vote in a historic Saturday session in the House of Commons, the prime minister ordered a senior diplomat to send an unsigned photocopy of the request for a delay, which was forced on him by MPs last month.
Johnson nonetheless said he remained "confident" of completing the ratification process by October 31.
A third cover letter written by Britain's EU ambassador Tim Barrow made clear that the Brexit delay request letter was only being sent to comply with the law.