The EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier announced on Friday that EU nations had been unable to come to an agreement on the length of the subsequent Brexit delay due to the fallout from Boris Johnson’s demand for a December election.

The British Prime Minister place the cat amongst the pigeons on Thursday by announcing he wanted a common election on December 12th to break the Brexit deadlock.

Barnier had held a meeting on Friday of EU ambassadors in Brussels and while he described the talks as “fantastic” he stated no choice was taken on the length of the Brexit extension they would present the British government.

Barnier recommended a choice would now probably not be produced till Monday or Tuesday subsequent week with some EU member states, notably the French, wanting to wait and see no matter whether Boris Johnson will get his want for a December election.

When a majority of member states are believed to be prepared to agree to the January 31st extension – as requested by Johnson by means of gritted teeth – the French government are not so keen.

One particular diplomatic supply quoted in British newspaper The Guardian stated: “It is the French, it is constantly the French”.

France has produced clear up to now that a 3 month extension would only be palatable if it was for a common election or second referendum. The EU’s other heavyweight Germany has been a lot more amenable to a January extension.

Speaking on French radio RTL on Friday morning, France’s EU minister Amélie de Montchalin told RTL: “We have to have to have a clear situation of why we are providing time: is it to ratify an agreement since we have have to have a handful of a lot more days? (…)

“Or is it to organise an election so that we can have a clarification democratically?”,  she told RTL.

“The French position is to give a lot more time if it is justified, if we recognize why are undertaking it, ” she insisted.

“It is not a query of an ultimatum, it is a query of clarity. (…) Providing time alone does not lead to something other than stagnation,” the French minister added.

Study Extra: 

Evaluation: So just what is going on with the French and the Brexit extension

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with French president Emmanuel Macron. Photo: AFP