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The circulation of the draft agreement suggests that a three-month extension prevents the EU from being dragged into internal conflict in the UK.
The European Union is preparing to sign an extension for Brexit until the end of January 2020 with the option for the United Kingdom to leave earlier if an agreement is ratified, according to a leaked draft of the agreement seen by the Guardian Sunday.
The document to be circulated to the Member States on Monday suggests that the EU will agree to the U.K.'s request for a further postponement. The draft extension would state that the planned deadline would be extended by the European Council Decision, again until Jan. 31.
"In the event that the parties to that agreement complete their respective ratification procedures and notify of the completion of those procedures in November 2019, December 2019 or January 2020, the withdrawal agreement will enter into force respectively on the first day of the month concerned," it reads.
An EU statement attached to the draft agreement stipulates that the bloc will not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and that the U.K. has an "obligation" to nominate a candidate to join the European Commission.
I am consulting EU leaders on how to respond to the British request for an Art. 50 extension. We should be ready for every scenario. But I made clear to PM @BorisJohnson: a no-deal #Brexit will never be our decision.
However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that he will not put forward any candidates.
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk has had intensive talks with EU leaders over the weekend. Tusk said that he wanted to avoid calling leaders to a summit in Brussels and that he would seek a common agreement to allow approval through a "written procedure."
The circulation of the draft agreement suggests that Tusk has managed to convince France in particular, that a three-month extension prevents the EU from being dragged into an internal conflict in the U.K.
On the verge of opting for an extension, Boris Johnson has made clear his position that he does not envisage a lengthening of the negotiations. His deadline remains the end of this month, and continued comments from a tough Brexit or general election continue to cloud the landscape.
Johnson's defeat in the British parliament exposed the prime minister to a law passed by those who oppose the exit of an agreement, demanding that he request a postponement until Jan. 31.
The premier sent the request note as required, but not signed, and added another signed letter arguing against what he presented as a deeply corrosive delay.
One of his most important ministers said Britain would still leave the bloc on the agreed-upon date.
"We will leave on October 31. We have the means and the capacity to do it," Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Brexit's preparations, told Sky News.
While Johnson called on parliament last week for an early general election to be held on Dec. 12, as the members of parliament are asking for more time to analyze the law-text that would be used to implement the Brexit deal.