Britain, EU look to each other for next step on Brexit

LONDON (AP) – Politicians in Britain and the European Union (EU) are looking to each other to break the Brexit deadlock after United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for an early election.

EU officials were meeting yesterday in Brussels to decide whether to grant an extension to the October 31 Brexit deadline, but the French government said Britain must present “a clear scenario” for progress before another delay is granted.

“Our position is that simply giving more time, without political change, without ratification, without an election, would be useless,” Amelie de Montchalin, France’s European Affairs minister, told RTL radio on Thursday night.

Those comments follow Johnson’s decision on Thursday to push for early elections to break the stalemate in Parliament that has blocked a Brexit deal. Johnson said he would ask lawmakers to vote on Monday on a motion calling a national poll on December 12.

To call an election, Johnson, who leads a minority government, must win support from two-thirds of the House of Commons. But opposition parties say they won’t vote for early elections until the government secures an extension of the Brexit deadline.

Britain’s biggest opposition party has gone a step further, saying it will block plans for an early election unless Johnson eliminates the possibility of leaving the EU without an agreement.