Brussels is preparing to offer Boris Johnson a no-deal Brexit extension beyond 31 October in an attempt to help him keep the Conservative party together and provide one more chance to strike an agreement deal.
The extra period of EU membership would be used for renegotiation but could be billed to Conservative Brexiters as an opportunity to prepare further for leaving without a deal.
“It will be described as a technical delay to save Boris from political embarrassment but then we will have time to find an agreement,” said one senior EU diplomat.
There is growing confidence among key member states that a no-deal Brexit can be avoided after the Commons voted this week to prevent the next prime minister, likely to be Johnson, from proroguing parliament.
The details of the approach shared with the Guardian will aggravate hard Brexiters in Westminster who will see it as a serious threat to their expectations that the UK should depart on 31 October at any cost. [...]
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