Jean-Claude Juncker rules out another Brexit extension

Mr Juncker is 'convinced' the EU 27 will pass the deal

Thursday, October 17, 2019

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled out giving the UK any further extension past the Brexit deadline on October 31.

Arriving at the EU summit in Brussels, he said he was “convinced” Boris Johnson’s new deal will get the backing of the 27 EU leaders.

He clarified: “Anyway there will be no prolongation.

“We have concluded a deal and so there is not an argument for further delay - it has to be done now.”

Mr Juncker added that, while it falls on him to make sure EU leaders sign off the deal, responsibility lies with Boris Johnson to ensure the deal is approved at home.

“We have a deal. The British PM has to make sure that the deal will pass the hurdles of Westminster,” he said.

If ratified at by the EU 27, Mr Johnson will take his agreement back to Parliament for a vote in a special Saturday sitting.

Previously, the Benn Act was passed in the House of Commons that required the Prime Minister to seek a Brexit delay if MPs did not approve his plans by October 19.

In light of Mr Juncker’s statement, it is now unclear what path will be taken if the deal he has agreed with the EU is rejected by MPs.

Asked about what may happen in that eventuality, Mr Juncker said: “I am not in charge of Westminster”.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who has campaigned for a “clean break Brexit”, criticised Mr Juncker's comments, saying that “overriding” the Benn Act showed the EU to be a “thuggocracy”.

Meanwhile, Labour MP David Lammy claimed it was “not within Jean-Claude Juncker's powers to rule out an extension” and said it was instead up to the other EU leaders, who “will grant an extension”.

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