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Johnson sends three letters on Brexit to European Council president — TV

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson EPA-EFE/AIDAN CRAWLEY
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

LONDON, October 20. /TASS/. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent three letters to President of the European Council Donald Tusk early on Sunday, including a formal extension request and a personal letter saying that another Brexit delay would be a mistake, Sky News reported citing government sources.

Earlier on Sunday, Tusk confirmed he had received the first letter. "The extension request has just arrived," he said in a Twitter post. "I will now start consulting EU leaders on how to react."

Johnson was obliged to send this letter to the EU until Sunday, if the UK parliament fails to approve the Brexit deal with Brussels. The text of the formal extension request was earlier approved by the parliament and cannot be amended. Johnson, however, did not sign the formal document.

The second message is a covering letter by Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union Tim Barrow, which says the first letter was sent on an initiative of the UK parliament, not Johnson himself.

The third letter is a personal letter from Johnson, in which, according to Sky News, the UK premier describes a Brexit delay as a mistake, which would not be harmful for both the UK and the EU.

"While it is open to the European Council to accede to the request mandated by Parliament or to offer an alternative extension period, I have made clear since becoming Prime Minister, and made clear to the Parliament again today, my view, and the Government’s position, that a further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners, and the relationship between us," reads the letter, released by The Guardian.

Johnson expressed confidence that his country would complete the Brexit process by the end of the month.

"Meanwhile, although I would have preferred a different result today, the Government will press ahead with the ratification and introduce the necessary legislation early next week. I remain confident that we will complete that process by 31 October," the UK premier said in the letter.

"Indeed, many of those who voted against the Government today have indicated their support for the new deal and for ratifying it without delay," he added.

The UK prime minister said he was ready to arrive to an emergency EU summit, which may be necessary to approve the delay, in order to express the UK government’s stance to the leaders of the remaining 27 EU members.

Therefore, Johnson formally observed the law, but his political opponents may try to initiate judicial proceedings against him, accusing the premier of violating the spirit of it.

During an emergency parliamentary session on Saturday, the UK government failed in its attempt to push its draft Brexit agreement through the House of Commons. The lawmakers adopted an amendment, introduced by former Conservative party member Oliver Letwin, which made senseless the vote on the agreement, expected to be held later on Saturday evening.

The text of the amendment says that the deal with the EU will not be approved by the parliament unless the House of Commons adopts all bills, necessary for Brexit. In fact, this means a new delay of Brexit, which, according to Letwin and his supporters, is necessary for avoiding a no-deal Brexit as a result of unforeseen contingencies or a simple lack of time to complete all the required legal procedures.

After the vote, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his regret by the decision.