The Latest: Boris Johnson will try again for early election

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to staff in the children’s ward as he visits Milton Keynes University Hospital in Milton Keynes, England, Friday Oct. 25, 2019. European Union ambassadors agreed Friday that the bloc should grant Britain’s request for another extension to the Brexit deadline but have not yet figured out how long that delay should be. (Toby Melville/Pool via AP)

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LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

7:05 p.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will try again to secure a December election, after lawmakers rejected his call for a Dec. 12 vote.

After failing to secure the required two-thirds support for a motion to hold an early election, Johnson said the government would bring forward a bill to permit an early general election on the same day.

Unlike Monday’s motion, a bill only needs a simple majority to pass.

Johnson says Britain needs to hold an election to break the impasse that has stalled its departure from the European Union.

Opposition parties didn’t reject the bill immediately, but said they would look at it before deciding whether to back it.


7 p.m.

British lawmakers have rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call to hold an early election on Dec. 12 in a bid to break the political deadlock over Brexit.

The House of Commons voted 299-70 to hold an early election, but that fell well short of the two-thirds majority of all 650 lawmakers that Johnson needed.

Opposition parties said they wanted an election, but not on the prime minister’s terms.

The opposition Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party plan to try to secure a Dec. 9 election using a different procedure.

The wrangling follows the European Union’s decision to give Britain a three-month delay to its departure, which had been due to take place on Oct. 31.


5:40 p.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has grudgingly accepted a three-month delay to the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, but stressed that he’s doing it against his will and urged the EU to grant no more delays.

In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, Johnson says that under U.K. law “I have no discretion . to do anything other than confirm the U.K.’s formal agreement to this extension.”

He called the delay “unwanted” and said it was “imposed on this government against its will.”

Johnson requested the delay on the orders of Parliament.

In his letter, Johnson urges the 27 other EU countries “to make clear that a further extension after 31 January is not possible.”

Johnson is pushing for an early U.K. election in a bid to break Britain’s Brexit deadlock.


3:15 p.m.

A German exporters’ association is welcoming the European Union’s decision to delay Brexit until Jan. 31, but says this should be the final extension.

The EU agreed Monday to delay Britain’s departure by three months, averting for the now the prospect of Britain falling out of the bloc i a chaotic no-deal Brexit. Holger Bingmann, the head of Germany’s BGA association, said it was the right decision but “it is high time that we conclude this issue.”

He said a further impasse would be “a barely sustainable burden” for European and British business struggling with all the uncertainty over Brexit.

Bingmann says businesses need to be able to make plans. He added that he hopes a possible early British election in the next few months “brings more clarity politically and moves the country out of checkmate.”


1:05 p.m.

The European Parliament Brexit coordinator says he is “relieved that finally no one died in a ditch” after the EU agreed to a Brexit extension until next Jan. 31.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than agree to extend Brexit beyond Oct. 31.

Guy Verhofstadt, head of the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group, wrote on Twitter that “whether the U.K.’s democratic choice is revoke or an orderly withdraw, confirmed or not in a second referendum, the uncertainty of Brexit has gone on for far too long. This extra time must deliver a way forward.”

After a short meeting of European ambassadors on Monday, European Council President Donald Tusk said the EU agreed to Britain’s request for an extension.


12:30 p.m.

The German government is welcoming the European Union’s agreement to delay Brexit until Jan. 31 next year.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that it was a “good solution.”

Seibert told reporters in Berlin that it was “very positive” that the remaining 27 EU countries had shown unity on the issue.

He added that “the ball now lies with Great Britain. And it’s important to use the additional time productively.”


11:35 a.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it’s Parliament’s fault, not his, that Britain will not be leaving the European Union as scheduled on Oct. 31.

The EU has agreed to postpone Brexit until Jan. 31, after Johnson failed to get British lawmakers to ratify his divorce deal with the bloc in time to leave this week.

Johnson grudgingly asked for the delay on the orders of Parliament. He has said for months that the U.K. will leave the EU on Oct. 31 “come what may” — with a Brexit deal or without one.

His spokesman, James Slack, says Johnson secured “a great new deal, he set out a timetable that would have allowed the U.K. to leave on Oct, 31 with that deal – and Parliament blocked it.”

Slack says Johnson has not yet seen the EU letter confirming a Brexit delay.

11:15 a.m.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has welcomed the European Union’s decision to extend the Brexit deadline until the end of January.

Khan tweeted Monday that the decision was “good news” and takes the “immediate risk of a catastrophic no-deal” Brexit off the table.

The mayor said the extension should be used for a public vote on Brexit.

He says, “It’s time to give the British public the final say on Brexit.”

Britain’s Parliament will consider the prospect of calling a national election at its Monday session. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants an election on Dec. 12 but may not have enough backing to get his way.

The government is strongly opposed to holding a second referendum on Brexit.


9:30 a.m.

The European Council president says the bloc has agreed to grant Britain a new Brexit delay to Jan. 31 next year.

Donald Tusk said on Twitter “the EU 27 has agreed that it will accept the UK’s request for a Brexit flextension (…). The decision is expected to be formalized through a written procedure.”

Tusk’s announcement came as European Union diplomats met in Brussels to sign off on the new delay to Britain’s departure from the bloc, which had been due in just three days on Oct. 31.

It’s the second time the Brexit deadline has been changed since the 2016 referendum on Britain’s departure from the EU.


8:40 a.m.

The French minister for European Affairs says she does not know when Brexit will happen, and insists Britain can still backpedal on its decision to leave the bloc.

Speaking on France Info radio, Amelie de Montchalin said it’s still possible for Britain to revoke Article 50, meaning the U.K. would remain in the EU and cancel Brexit.

Montchalin said “the prime minister can pick up his phone and call Brussels to say: “I stop everything.”

Montchalin added, however, that she believes it’s important to respect the “British people’s sovereign desire” expressed in the 2016 referendum on leaving the EU.

She spoke as ambassadors for the EU27 meet in Brussels on Monday to decide on a new Brexit delay. She said ambassadors will discuss the possibility of granting another extension to Jan. 31, 2020.

France was initially reluctant to extend the Brexit deadline beyond its scheduled date of Oct. 31, but Montchalin said the perspective of a new general election in Britain justifies a new delay.


7:55 a.m.

European Union diplomats are meeting to decide whether to delay Britain’s departure from the bloc, due in just three days.

British politicians, meanwhile, are wrangling over what to do with the extra time.

Ambassadors from the 27 other EU countries are meeting Monday to discuss Britain’s request for a three-month postponement to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline. The bloc has agreed in principle, but has not fixed the extension’s length.

In London, British politicians are set to vote on whether to hold an early election to try to break the country’s deadlock over Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a Dec. 12 election, but looks unlikely to get the required support from two-thirds of lawmakers.

Two opposition parties plan to push for a Dec. 9 election if Johnson’s proposal fails.


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