Europe decides to watch and wait after yet another Brexit delay, writes Angus Walker

Europe

Many top EU officials and European leaders were presumably watching through their hands as Parliament voted this afternoon.

Remember, just 48 hours ago, 27 EU states backed the new deal struck with Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister argues that there’s no appetite for delay in the UK.

There’s also little appetite for delay in Brussels.

President Macron of France has reacted to the passing to the Letwin Amendment, which has postponed a vote on the Withdrawal Bill, by saying delay is “in nobody’s interest”.

However, there’s also no appetite for no-deal either, and that’s why any letter containing a request from the UK government asking for a delay beyond October 31 – a letter Boris Johnson is legally compelled to write – is highly likely to be granted by the EU Council.

On Saturday night, EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that he had spoken to Mr Johnson and was “waiting for the letter”.

Boris Johnson confirmed he will be writing to him on Saturday night to seek a Brexit delay.

EU Commission spokesperson Mina Andreeva tweeted shortly after the Commons vote, saying that the commission “takes note” that the “Withdrawal Agreement itself was not put to a vote today”.

There’s a certain ring of relief to that.

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🇪🇺🇬🇧 @EU_Commission takes note of the vote in the House of Commons today on the so-called #Letwin Amendment meaning that the #WithdrawalAgreement itself was not put to vote today. It will be for the UK government to inform us about the next steps as soon as possible.

&mdash; Mina Andreeva (@Mina_Andreeva) October 19, 2019

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A view perhaps echoed by the Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki who tweeted that he “welcomes” the vote “not as a rejection of the deal but as a postponement of its acceptance”.

The Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also appears to taking the EU’s line, their much-prized unity appearing again, by saying: “The EU & UK agreed a Withdrawal Agreement on Thursday that defends Ireland’s interests. The Commons voted today to defer a decision on whether or not to ratify that agreement.

“To date, no request for an extension has been made by the UK Government.”

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The EU &amp; UK agreed a Withdrawal Agreement on Thursday that defends Ireland’s interests. The Commons voted today to defer a decision on whether or not to ratify that agreement. To date, no request for an extension has been made by the UK Government.

&mdash; Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) October 19, 2019

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