Published On: Fri, Aug 30th, 2019

Macron climbdown: EU ‘poised to SCRAP October 31 Brexit deadline’ | Politics | News

Mr Brown, citing conversations with European leaders in recent days, made his remarks during the inaugural meeting of Our Scottish Future think tank in Edinburgh seminar today. He claimed Mr Macron, widely regarded as the driving force behind the deadline when it was agreed in April, was no longer insisting upon it.

Mr Brown suggested Mr Macron had demanded the six-month extension as opposed to a year in order to “sound tough” to a domestic audience in the run-up to the European elections.

He explained: “I believe that next week the European Union will withdraw the October 31st deadline and remove the excuse that Boris Johnson has and the claim that he’s making that it’s the European Union being inflexible in their timing, and make it possible for MPs to vote against no-deal Brexit.”

“Pull the rug from under that argument by saying it’s not Europe that’s being inflexible, it’s up to Britain now, the October 31 deadline can be removed.

“I think if that happened next week it would help us win a vote in the House of Commons and and help put the pressure back on the government.”

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr Brown said: “I think the EU will withdraw the October 31 deadline.

“That’s what I believe they should do and I believe they will do.

“It’s got to be an offer. Under Article 50 it’s by agreement.”

He predicted the EU 27 would be in agreement on such a move, saying: “I have been talking to people and I believe that to be the case.

“In fact, if you look back, about three weeks ago Ursula von der Leyen said she was prepared to do so.

“What I’m saying is there’s meetings next week that may make that offer.

“I think there’s a meeting of the Commission next week.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the European Union on October 31 “do or die”.

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