Brussels has agreed to a Brexit extension, but will not make a decision on how long it should be until next week.

The 27 remaining European Union member states accepted the “principle of an extension”, with talks set to continue in the coming days. 

It came as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon issued a direct message to EU citizens, insisting: “Scotland welcomes you”.

She said the Scottish Government was providing information online to make sure EU nationals are aware of their rights in light of Brexit.
French President Emmanuel Macron is believed to be pushing against plans to agree a three-month delay until the end of January. 

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The French ambassador told a meeting of EU diplomats that only after a vote on Monday on Boris Johnson’s plans for a General Election in December should the EU decide to “go short, to push for ratification, or long to accommodate a General Election”, it was reported.

A source close to Mr Macron was reported as saying: “France wants a justified and proportionate extension. However, we have nothing of the sort 
so far.

“We must show the British that it is up to them to clarify the situation and that an extension is not a given.”

France is believed to favour a shorter delay until mid or late November to maintain pressure on MPs. Mr Johnson was forced by Parliament to request a Brexit extension until January 31 after legislation – known as the Benn Act – was passed by MPs last month.

READ MORE: MPs could hold Boris Johnson 'hostage' over Brexit date 

He previously insisted the UK would leave the EU by October 31 “do or die”, and that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for an extension.

However, MPs failed to back his Brexit timetable.

The Prime Minister has now offered MPs more time to consider his Brexit deal if they agree to an election on December 12.

There are concerns in Whitehall that if ministers cannot get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through now, they will be facing the prospect of yet another extension beyond January 31, with the possibility MPs could again take control of the Commons timetable to pass a “Benn Act 2”.

But Labour, whose votes will be needed if Mr Johnson is to get the two-thirds majority in the Commons that he requires to go the country under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, has insisted a no-deal Brexit must be taken off the table before any poll is called.

Following the meeting of EU ambassadors yesterdayon Friday, the European Commission’s chief spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told a Brussels press briefing: “The EU 27 have agreed to the principle of an extension and work will now continue in the coming days.”

She said their intention was to take the decision by a written procedure, reducing the likelihood of an emergency EU summit next week, just days before Britain is currently due to leave.

An EU source said the ambassadors’ meeting was constructive and there was “full agreement” on the need for an extension. 

They are expected to meet again on Monday or Tuesday to finalise an agreement.

Ms Sturgeon issued her appeal on social media yesterday, directing EU citizens to online information on their rights to stay in the country following Brexit.

Using the Scottish Government’s Twitter account, she said: “I want to reaffirm a very simple message for all EU citizens in Scotland: Scotland welcomes you.

“We value the contribution you make to our economy, our culture, and our society. And because of that we want you to stay here in Scotland.

“That is why, in the light of Brexit, the Scottish Government is providing information online to make sure you are aware of your rights – for example how to apply for the EU settlement scheme.”

She said the Scottish Government is working with Citizens Advice Scotland to help EU citizens.

She added: “The Scottish Government will also, of course, continue to call on the UK Government to do everything it can to recognise your rights and to guarantee them in law.

“Above all else though, we want you to remember this: people in Scotland are proud that you have done us the honour of coming to Scotland. Scotland is your home.

“You will always be welcome here. 
And the Scottish Government will do everything in our power to help you 
to stay.”