EU agrees extension as Boris Johnson looks to trigger UK election

European Council President Donald Tusk has announced that the EU has agreed to extend Brexit until 31 January 2020

The EU has agreed to extend Brexit until 31 January 2020.

Taking to social media European Council President Donald Tusk said the bloc would allow for a so-called "flextension" - meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal was approved by parliament.

This comes as MPs prepare to vote on proposals by Boris Johnson for an early general election on 12 December.

The vote is due to take place at 5pm GMT (6pm in Malta). 

Johnson said he will restart moves to get his Brexit deal bill into law if the motion is passed. But he looks unlikely to get the support of the two-thirds of MPs he needs by law to agree to an election, with opposition parties against it.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party is not prepared to support it until a no-deal Brexit is ruled out, with his party's MPs expected to abstain in the vote.

The SNP has also said it will block the government's election attempt.

But the party has joined forces with the Liberal Democrats to push for an election on 9 December - provided the EU grants a Brexit extension until 31 January.

They have proposed a bill which would tweak the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 - the law which sets the time-frame for elections - and enable a poll to take place with only a simple majority of MPs voting for it, rather than two-thirds of MPs.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said she wanted to stop Johnson from "ramming through his Brexit bill".

She said setting the date in law would also remove any "wriggle room" the Johnson had around his own proposals.