Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
My sole objection to the "form letter" is that it was sent unsigned, which throws into doubt whether it has any legal effect whatsoever. You may welcome another sojourn to the courts to determine its efficacy and legality, I doubt many others do. Honourable leaders do not act in this way. Their word is their bond.

In extremis it casts doubt on the legality of any "request" from the UK for an extension, thereby casting doubt on the validity of any extension granted, and therefore whether the UK will, in fact and in law, still be a member of the EU, in good standing, after Nov. 1st.

Both the EU and the UK deserve better than this.

As for the second letter - to Donald Tusk - do not let its "palsy-walsy" and collegial language throw you off the scent of it's real intent: It is to negate the import of the first, and contains the veiled threat that any extension would damage the relationship between the UK and its EU "partners" - an echo of Dominic Cummings' threat that all talk of "sincere cooperation" would be "down the toilet," and that those Members who vote for  an extension would be "at the back of the queue" when it comes to future beneficial relationships with the UK.

At the moment the EU and UK are not "partners". The UK is one of the 28 constituent members of the EU. Whether there will be any meaningful "partnership" between the EU and UK post Brexit remains to be seen, and it will certainly not be one of equals. Neither will the UK get to determine what order in which EU member states get to enjoy the benefits of a relationship with the UK. The EU will negotiate as a bloc.

So I do not absolve Boris' Johnson for his part in this continuing debacle. An honourable person would have resigned if they found themselves unable to reconcile themselves to the will of Parliament. Neither would they, effectively, have washed the UK's dirty laundry on the international stage and exposed their EU "partners" to the legal uncertainties now gripping the UK. It's time for a grown up to represent the UK, and that is not Boris Johnson.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 21st, 2019 at 08:57:23 AM EST
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