‘The only option’: Europe’s new Brexit move
BORIS Johnson is being haunted by his Halloween Brexit deadline as European leaders say they will push out Britain's plans to leave.
The European Union overnight gave a strong indication that the October 31 deadline was dead in a ditch, despite Mr Johnson's best efforts.
The British Prime Minister spoke with German leader Angela Merkel for 10 minutes overnight Australian time but he did not get what he wanted.
His official spokesman said: "(Mr Johnson) made the same point which he made to Donald Tusk, which is that his long-held view is that we shouldn't delay and that we should leave the EU on 31 October."
But the EU poured cold water on Mr Johnson's wishes as they already have a request for a Brexit extension to January 31.
Anti-Brexit MPs in the UK parliament did some political slalom skiing to force Mr Johnson to seek the extension, which he refused to sign.
European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt tweeted: "The @Europarl_EN's Brexit Steering Group met today & is of the opinion that a flextension, not going beyond the 31st Jan, is the only way forward.
"This is an important agreement & the European parliament needs time to scrutinise in detail, especially concerning citizens rights."
Mr Johnson won a vote on his Brexit deal but lost a second vote on his fast-tracked timing.
Now there is no chance of getting the deal through before Mr Johnson's October 31 deadline, on which he campaigned to win the top job.
The only way to solve the crisis would be a general election but Labour, which is trailing in the polls, has refused to support a snap poll.
Mr Johnson needs two thirds of MPs to sign off on an election, but currently does not have a working majority, let alone the votes needed.