The EU needs to offer the UK an extension

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As the days - and even hours now - tick down towards Brexit deadlines there appears one obvious solution available to the EU that I have seen little talked about.

It is very clear that Boris Johnson wants to leave the EU and blame Brussels for this happening. The reasons are readily apparent, with a home electorate who will applaud him for doing so.

The counter to this should be apparent: the EU should say that there are issues still to discuss in his plan. They should add that they are worthy of further consideration. And in that case they would like to offer an extension of, say, three months in order to do so.

This then means that Johnson has to choose to leave the EU. Of course some will cheer him for that. But it makes it his choice. And given that it would be illegal for him to do so in the UK, it would be seen as him creating the post-Brexit chaos if he tried to exit. 

Will it happen? I have no idea. No one has. But for Brussels, who are as keen to avoid blame as Johnson is to apportion it, the tactic seems like an obvious thing to do.

As ever, I live in hope.