BBC reported that a Scottish court said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson would seek an extension to the October 31 Brexit deadline if no withdrawal deal with the European Union is reached by mid-October.
The British government can find ways to avoid delaying Brexit beyond the current divorce date of October 31, the BBC's political editor said on Friday, citing a senior source in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Downing Street office.
Under the so-called Benn Act, if by October 19, the government has not agreed on a divorce deal with Brussels or parliament's approval for leaving the EU without a deal, Johnson must request a delay until January 31, 2020.
"The govt is not prevented by Act from doing other things that cause no delay including other communications, private and public," wrote Laura Kuenssberg, citing the source.
Kuenssberg said the view in government was that there was only a tiny chance of a deal being agreed by mid-October.
Anti- Brexiters insist on delay
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will send a letter to the European Union asking for a Brexit delay if no divorce deal has been reached by October 19, according to government papers submitted to a Scottish court.
Johnson submitted new proposals to the EU on Wednesday which he hopes will lead to a deal. British Parliament refused to back an agreement his predecessor reached with EU leaders.
But, just over a week after a British Supreme Court ruling that Johnson had suspended the parliament unlawfully and weeks before the deadline, anti-Brexit campaigners turned to judges to try to ensure Britain does not leave without a deal.
They want the judges to rule that Johnson must abide by a law passed by parliament last month requiring him to delay Brexit if he has not agreed on a withdrawal treaty in the next two weeks.
They say a no-deal Brexit would have calamitous economic repercussions for Britain after it leaves the political and trading group it joined in 1973.
A spokesman for Johnson said he could not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.
Johnson has said he will abide by the new law, known as the "Benn Act." But he has also said he will not ask for any delay and that Britain will leave the EU anyway on October 31. He has not explained the apparent contradiction in his comments.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that if Great Britain were to request an extension to its Brexit deadline he would consider it, adding that an extension would be preferable to the UK crashing out of the European Union.
"My preference is that we come to an agreement and that we have a deal by the middle of October," Varadkar said during a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in Copenhagen.
"But if the UK government were to request an extension, of course, we would consider it. But I think most EU countries would really only consider it for a good reason, and that reason would have to be put forward. But certainly, an extension would be better than 'no deal'," he said.