BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said Britain must inform the EU executive of its next steps as soon as possible after parliament voted on Saturday to postpone a key vote on a Brexit deal.
“The European Commission takes note of the vote in the House of Commons today,” spokesman Mina Andreeva said on Twitter. “It will be for the UK government to inform us about the next steps as soon as possible.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost a vote in parliament on Saturday that means he is now obliged to request a postponement to Britain’s departure from the European Union.
A defiant Johnson said he would not negotiate a further delay despite legislation passed earlier that obliges him to write to the European Union seeking a delay beyond Britain’s scheduled departure date of Oct. 31.
On two previous occasions, Britain’s then-prime minister Theresa May wrote to the European Council President Donald Tusk to request an extension. On Saturday, a spokesman for Tusk declined to comment.
National envoys to Brussels of the 27 countries remaining in the European Union after Brexit will convene at 0730 GMT on Sunday to discuss next steps.
“Poland welcomes today’s House of Commons vote not as a rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement but as postponement of its acceptance,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Twitter. “Avoiding a chaotic, no-deal Brexit should be our top priority.”
A French diplomatic source said a new Brexit delay was in no one’s interest.
“Whatever happens next, the marches outside the Parliament show just how important a close EU - UK future relationship is,” European lawmaker Guy Verhofstadt, who deals with Brexit, said of a mass rally of anti-Brexit protesters in London on Saturday.
Reporting by John Chalmers and Gabriela Baczynska ; Editing by Mark Potter and Alexandra Hudson