'No justification at this stage' for new Brexit delay: France

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he saw "no justification at this stage" for an additional delay to Britain's scheduled October 31 departure from the European Union.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he saw "no justification at this stage" for an additional delay to Britain's scheduled October 31 departure from the European Union.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - France's foreign minister said on Tuesday (Oct 22) he saw "no justification at this stage" for an additional delay to Britain's scheduled October 31 departure from the European Union.

"We've been waiting for three years for this decision. It's important for it to be announced today because otherwise there will be no option except 'no deal,' which is not the solution we prefer," Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers in parliament.

"The main question is for the British, that they tell us today, as soon as possible, if it's yes or no," Le Drian said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson struggled on Tuesday to secure backing from lawmakers for the latest hard-won accord on Brexit, just over a week away.

Over the weekend, they forced Johnson to ask EU negotiators for a new delay despite his pledge to pull Britain from the bloc at the end of the month "do or die."

The premier faces two crucial votes in parliament later Tuesday, and has warned that defeat would force him to abandon the legislation and seek a new general election.

European Council President Donald Tusk said the other 27 EU leaders were mulling Johnson's request to delay Brexit but it would depend on how MPs vote.

"It is obvious that the result of these consultations will very much depend on what the British parliament decides or doesn't decide," he told the European Parliament.

"We should be ready for every scenario," he said.