Gordon Brown: I believe EU leaders will withdraw October 31st deadline
PUBLISHED: 10:27 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16 30 August 2019
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Gordon Brown has claimed that the European Union will give Boris Johnson the opportunity to avoid humiliation by withdrawing the October 31st deadline.
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The former prime minister used a speech to claim that European leaders will withdraw the deadline when they next meet to avoid Boris Johnson having to return to EU to ask for more time.
He said: "I have actually been talking to some European leaders this week.
"I believe that next week the European Union will withdraw the October 31st deadline and remove the excuse that Boris Johnson has and the claim that he's making that it's the European Union being inflexible in their timing, and make it possible for MPs to vote [against] No-Deal Brexit."
That is despite Boris Johnson vowing to take the UK out of the EU on that date "do or die", and having launched a £100 million propaganda campaign to "get ready" for the deadline.
Speaking at the launch of the Our Scottish Future think tank in Edinburgh, he claimed that Boris Johnson is "tearing the country apart" with no plan to bring people together again and that he is "shredding the constitution" after he announced plans to suspend parliament next month.
He said the UK was being being torn into pieces by "competing nationalisms" and that reconciliation will take "years if not decades".
He said: "We meet at the end of a week which has triggered the biggest peace-time constitutional crisis in recent history - an ugly battle between a sovereign parliament and a government claiming it is a non-sovereign parliament - with questions being raised not just about what kind of Brexit but what kind of Britain.
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"This is now about the very survival of the United Kingdom.
"Only four weeks into his premiership, Boris Johnson is not only shredding our constitution but tearing the country apart with no plan to bring people together again and no unifying national project to ever do so.
"Leadership should be about healing divisions and not accentuating them."
Best for Britain supporter Martin Whitfield MP said Gordon Brown's suggestion would be viewed as "incredibly positive."
He said: "Boris Johnson has wrongly been trying to blame the EU for the current impasse, when it is his government which has set impossible red lines. It is his government that is inflexible, not the EU.
"If EU leaders are prepared to extend the deadline to give MPs more time to prevent a no-deal Brexit that would be an incredibly positive step.
"It is Boris Johnson who is trampling over our democracy, not the EU. Time is tight and we need to fight against his disastrous no-deal Brexit plan and fight to give the people the choice to remain in the EU."
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