Boris Johnson is set to ask the European Union for a further extension to the Brexit process should the government fail to strike a deal by October 19.
This is according to papers that have been submitted to a Scottish court after the prime minister was forced to avoid a no-deal to avoid breaking the law.
The so-called Benn Act, named after Labour MP Hilary Benn, requires the government to request an extension from the EU if the Commons has failed to agree on a deal by October 19.
A source from Downing Street is quoted as saying:
The government will comply with the Benn Act, which only imposes a very specific narrow duty concerning Parliament's letter requesting a delay - drafted by an unknown subset of MPs and pro-EU campaigners - and which can be interpreted in different ways.
But the government is not prevented by the Act from doing other things that cause no delay, including other communications, private and public.
People will have to wait to see how this is reconciled. The government is making its true position on delay known privately in Europe and this will become public soon.
Although Johnson remains adamant that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31, this will be seen as a significant blow to his premiership and the millions that they have spent on their 'Get Ready for Brexit' campaign.
Should this come to pass there is likely to be a furore in the Commons but for the time being critics of Johnson are more than happy to mock him with the #BrexitExtension becoming a source for many jokes.
A writer’s deadline will forever be called a Boris.
It looks like a deadline, sounds like a deadline but we all kn… https://t.co/6p7AJmtqZg