Boris Johnson has sent a letter to the EU to request a Brexit delay – but without his signature, according to a Downing Street source.
The request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, which says he believes that a delay would be a mistake, the source said.
The PM was required by law to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline after losing a Commons vote.
Donald Tusk tweeted to confirm he had received the extension request.
He did not provide details of its content, but added that he will now consult EU leaders “on how to react”.
The first letter from Downing Street to Mr Tusk, EU Council President, requests a delay to the Brexit process, to comply with the so-called Benn Act, passed last month by MPs.The first is a cover note from Sir Tim, explaining that the letter complies with the law as agreed by Parliament.
But there is also a second letter from Mr Johnson – signed off this time – which makes clear that he believes that a delay would be a mistake
It appeals to EU leaders to ask MPs to reconsider their decision, and vote for the deal the UK and EU have agreed without any further delays.
It was understood that the hard copy and email copy of the letter would be conveyed by Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s representative in Brussels.
But according to the senior Number 10 source, who was speaking earlier in the evening, the prime minister would not sign the letter to Mr Tusk and it would be accompanied by two additional documents.