Oct 10, 2019

Brexit's future remains murky ahead of a looming Oct. 31 deadline

Data: Evening Standard via YouGov; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Brexit omnishambles continues. The chance of Britain agreeing to any kind of a deal with the European Union seems to have fallen to zero, and no one has a clue what will happen after Oct. 17, the date of the last EU summit before the Oct. 31 deadline.

Why it matters: By law, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is going to have to officially ask the EU for yet another extension. Whether he'll do so, however, is unclear; he certainly doesn't want to.

After that, things get even murkier. Will there be a vote of no confidence? (Probably.) Will Johnson lose that vote and resign as prime minister? (Yes and maybe.) Will there be another general election, who will win it, and will Brexit even happen? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The will of the people is clear. Britons voted narrowly to leave the EU in 2016, but in the intervening 3 years, some of them have changed their minds. Plus, a large number of older "Leave" voters have died and a similar number of young "Remainers" have attained voting age.

The bottom line: Brexit remains more likely than not. But it's not what the people want.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Brexit

Go deeper

Boris Johnson sends letter to EU requesting Brexit delay

Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent Saturday evening an unsigned photocopy of a letter requesting the European Union delay Brexit, ITV News reports. He also sent the EU an "explanatory letter" from the United Kingdom's ambassador to the EU and a letter signed by Johnson making it clear he doesn't want a delay to Brexit, per the Guardian.

Why it matters: Johnson had said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than seek an extension. But he was legally required to send the Brexit delay request after the U.K. Parliament passed a law in September requiring him to seek a Brexit extension rather than crash out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31.

Go deeperArrowOct 19, 2019

Everything you need to know about Brexit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom shocked the world and voted to “Brexit,” or leave the European Union. After more than three years of uncertainty and fractured politics, the U.K. officially exited the EU on Jan. 31, 2020.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 29, 2019 - World

Nigel Farage says Brexit extension would be better than Boris Johnson's deal

Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage told Sky News on Sunday that he'd prefer to extend the Brexit deadline past Oct. 31 in order to hold a general election than see Parliament pass the divorce deal struck by the EU and Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week.

"This is a rotten deal. ... I do understand because of Brexit fatigue and anger in the country the temptation to vote for it. But it is nothing more than Brexit in name only, it will not solve anything. This will not end things."
Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019