Well, this is as clear as mud, which is exactly what Boris Johnson is playing in.
Yesterday (October 3) he told us all that his newly-offered version of an EU withdrawal agreement was his last word on the subject and if it was rejected by Parliament or MEPs he would take the UK out of the 28-state bloc without a deal.
This would be a breach of the conditions of the so-called Benn Act, which forbids the UK from leaving without a deal.
On the BBC’s Today programme this morning (October 4), Home Office minister Brandon Lewis said: “From our point of view it’s a final offer… I’ve got to say, to be frank, as the prime minister said, this is our clear final deal. We think it’s a good deal, it’s a fair deal, it delivers both legally and security-wise for both our country here in the UK and obviously our friends in Europe.”
He added that the government would be willing to enter negotiations on smaller points – and claimed that there was a “building majority” of support for the plan in the Commons.
But Mr Johnson’s legal team said the exact opposite in its submissions to a court case today.
Scotland’s highest civil court – the Court of Session’s inner house – is set to hear a case to decide whether a judge could sign a letter calling for Brexit to be delayed, if Mr Johnson refuses to do so. The power to do so is called nobile officium – which Twitter users have humorously abbreviated to #noboff – but judges have already said there is “a question of competence” to do so as this power has never been used over a prime minister.
The government tried to have the case delayed until after October 19 – the date by which, if his deal is rejected, the Benn Act requires such a letter to be sent – but the court ruled that this would not provide enough time to hear the case and send the letter, if necessary.
So now the government has said, in documents sent to the court, that it will send a letter “in the form set out by no later than 19 October 2019”.
He seems to be saying one thing in public and another in private.
And isn’t it illegal to lie to a court – perjury? Could this case put Boris Johnson behind bars, at last?
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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He seems to be saying (according to something on the BBC News homepage) that he WILL send the letter requesting an extension, but we will be leaving on 31st October, with or without a deal. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49936352