Just six weeks after saying he'd "rather be dead in a ditch" than agree to request a Brexit extension, Boris Johnson last night was forced to do exactly that. Despite saying only hours before that he would not make the request.
Yesterday, the prime minister faced defeat in parliament after MPs voted in favour of the Letwin amendment, meaning Johnson would have to ask for an extension as per the provisions of the Benn Act, which was passed last month.
Johnson didn't even sign it, saying it came from the UK’s Brussels representative Sir Tim Barrow - pretty much a technicality - possibly in anticpation of the inevitable but tasteless dead-in-a-ditch references now spreading across social media.
Johnson then sent Tusk a second letter confirming he didn't want an extension and claiming he can definitely pass all necessary legislation within the next 11 days and get his deal approved by parliament in order to leave the EU on 31 October.
Yes, this is as wildly unlikely as it sounds.
In the second letter, he wrote:
I have made clear since becoming prime minister - and made clear to 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.
We must bring this process to a conclusion so that we can move to the next phase and build our new relationship.
As many have pointed out, this is an absurd turn of events and the PM has been mercilessly mocked.
@eucopresident @BorisJohnson Boris Johnson delivering extension letter to Brussels..... https://t.co/wbc314yj0N