After a meeting with EU heads of state and government in Brussels, with the exception of outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, Juncker said: “We have unanimously reiterated that there will be no renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement.” The Benn Act, passed by the British Parliament in September, forced the Prime Minister to ask for a further extension if Parliament did not approve a deal by 19 October in a “wise vote” or a Brexit without a deal.  On October 28, 2019, the date was extended to 2020.  After the 2019 British general election, which resulted in a landslide victory for Boris Johnson`s Conservative Party, the withdrawal agreement is expected to be ratified by the UK and the EU by the withdrawal date of 31 January 2020. Brexit negotiations in 2019 began in August, after they were initially concluded in November 2018 with the release of the withdrawal agreement. In 2017 and 2018, negotiations took place between the UK and the European Union with a view to the UK`s exit from the European Union after the referendum on 23 June 2016. In a tweet after a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague, Barnier said: “All the support for the withdrawal agreement cannot be reopened. The “backstop” is only an operational solution to tackle the irish border problem today. The EU is ready to work on other solutions during the transition. On 10 October, Mr Johnson and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar held “very positive and promising” talks, which led to the resumption of negotiations and a week later, on 17 October, Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker announced that they had reached a withdrawal agreement (subject to ratification) that would replace the backstop with a new protocol on Northern Ireland.”  On 12 March, the House of Commons again rejected the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration and voted against it by 391 votes to 242.  Immediately after the vote, May announced to Parliament that she would present a motion rejecting leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019 without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for future relations, to debate and vote in Parliament the following day (13 March).  On 5 April, May sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk calling for the Brexit deadline to be extended to 30 June. In exchange, May promised to prepare for elections to the European Parliament if a prolonged extension is required. These preparations could be halted at any time if the UK withdraws before 23 May, the first day of the election.
   In response to May`s letter, Tusk proposed a one-year “flexible extension.” Such “flexibility” would require (preparation) of UK participation in the European elections, but could be cancelled at any time once the withdrawal agreement has been ratified. Given that the withdrawal agreement is unlikely to pass the House of Commons in the near future, Tusk said, a brief extension would only lead to an endless series of delays, pitfalls and emergency summits. Mr Tusk also stressed that the UK still had the option of staying by unilaterally revoking Article 50.  On March 14, the government`s motion was passed by 412 votes to 202. Four amendments were tabled, but they were not adopted. This meant that Prime Minister May would ask for an extension of Article 50 at the European Council on 21-22 March.