(1) Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn meet after timetable rejected (BBC)

  • The meeting comes after MPs rejected the PM’s plan to fast-track a bill to implement his deal through Parliament.
  • The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg says she understands nothing was agreed at the meeting on Wednesday morning. Labour was keen to discuss a different timetable for the Brexit bill, while the PM wanted to know what Mr Corbyn would do if the EU refused to grant an extension.
  • No 10 said there had been “no meeting of minds” between the two men and no further talks were currently planned.

(2) Labour considers whether to back pre-Christmas election (Financial Times)

  • The Labour Party has signalled it is willing to back Boris Johnson’s push for a general election before Christmas, as the British prime minister considers whether to dissolve parliament or pass his Brexit deal on a slower timetable.
  • Richard Burgon, the Labour Party’s shadow justice secretary, said that once the EU had adhered to the UK’s request to delay Brexit his party would back an election.
  • If the Prime Minister decides to push for an election he will require the votes of some Labour MPs to reach the two-thirds majority needed to dissolve the House of Commons.
  • Downing Street is divided on whether to attempt to pass the Brexit deal on a slower timetable, or whether to seek a fresh mandate from the British electorate.
  • The length of extension offered by the EU is likely to determine which strategy wins out: a flexible delay until the end of January may favour passing the deal; a longer delay will mean an election.

(3) EU likely to give UK a Brexit delay up to 31 January (The Guardian)

  • On Wednesday, European Council president Donald Tusk said ” following the PM’s decision to pause the process of ratification of the withdrawal agreement, and in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit, I will recommend the EU27 accept the UK request for an extension. For this I will propose a written procedure”.
  • Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and the European parliament’s president, David Sassoli, have backed Donald Tusk’s call to grant the UK government a Brexit delay up to 31 January 2020. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has expressed doubt on the wisdom of an extension longer than a few days.
  • The EU 27 need to agree unanimously and met on Wednesday evening, although it is likely a response will not be given until Friday.