What a disgrace.
The law is clear. If Parliament has not approved Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal today, then he must contact the European Council immediately to seek to delay the date of Brexit.
Parliament has not approved the deal. It has not supported a Withdrawal Bill.
But Mr Johnson, in an act of bare-faced cheek, has said he will not comply with the law.
He reckons he’ll bring the necessary legislation during the week and is acting as though it will be passed – indeed, Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg has just announced a debate on Monday. This is discourteous to the Queen, as Parliament was due to debate her speech.
The new debate will be on s.13(b) of the Withdrawal Act 2018 (the Benn Act), which states: “The withdrawal agreement may be ratified only if… the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship have been approved by a resolution of the House of Commons on a motion moved by a Minister of the Crown.”
So it seems the intention is to re-run today’s (October 19) vote in what seems a Groundhog Day-esque return to the activities of Theresa May’s government.
As I write this, Labour’s Vernon Coaker has said anyone not complying with the law must face the consequences.
Speaker John Bercow said, “We must await the development of events.”
It seems BoJob’s strategy is to bog Parliament down with nonsense and get his “no deal” Brexit in the confusion.
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Boris seems to be saying that the law compels him to write a letter to the EU informing them of Parliament’s decision, but that he doesn’t have to abide by that decision (if I’ve understood that correctly). It’s nonsense.
NEW DEVELOPMENT – a “number 10 source” has informed the BBC that Boris Johnson WILL send the pre-drafted letter as required under the Benn Act to the EU requesting the extension as he is required so to do.
However, what he will ALSO do is to request that they ignore the letter to frustrate the opposition groups’ bid to have Brexit delayed.
This was the ‘cunning plan’ we have heard so much of in recent weeks. It has to be the least cunning of all the cunning plans mooted.
I’m surprised you didn’t know about this, Mike. It was on the BBC just after they cut away from the coverage inside the chamber. Did you switch off your TV too soon?
Boris shouldn’t be slapping himself on the back JUST yet though. Whilst I assume the lawyers are convinced that he IS in compliance with the Benn Act that is not the only problem for him. He should be worrying about how the EU will treat such simultaneous requests. Remember, it’s not in the EU interest for UK to be leaving at all, definitely not in their interests for us to leave without a deal and, even if we DID leave without a deal, they certainly don’t want to be seen to have had a hand in it in any way, shape or form whatever. What Boris hopes for is that they look at the two requests at the same time and ignore the Benn letter after reading HIS letter. but what if THEY treat this the way HE treats the thought of a second referendum? In other words, enact the FIRST letter (Benn) before considering the second. That would mean putting the request for an extension to the 27 for discussion then, presumably granting it, and notifying UK of their decision. They COULD decide there is not enough time to debate/discuss the second letter at this sitting and hold it over until the NEXT meeting. Resulting is a defacto extension until the end of Jan 2020. Certainly UNLESS they decide otherwise.
Any such move on behalf of the EU would indeed be bold. It would be seen as ignoring a request from one of their leaders, but they’d be doing that either way, wouldn’t they?
Boris has forgotten one KEY thing in all of this. The EU must act in accordance with it’s OWN interests in this matter, not his, not the UK’s either.
In this case we should expect the unexpected and be mindful that Boris only has to comply with the LETTER of the law (in this case, literally)
I was watching events in the Commons chamber as there was a little more drama still to be seen there.
And the EU is likely to ignore any simultaneous communication asking members to ignore the request for a delay. Parliament is sovereign, not Boris Johnson – and Parliament has ordered that a delay be requested. The EU has already stated that it will grant such a request, if received.
NB the basis for my previous comment DOES mean that the premise for your article is now rendered void. Check the BBC site to confirm what I’ve said.
The article was, and is, valid. It reflects Boris Johnson’s duplicity.
Looks like the Tinpot Dictator could be shortly taking PMQs from a cell in Belmarsh. Can’t wait.
Why is Boris still confident that he will get his reckless Brexit deal through parliament this week…he needs the DUP numbers to win and that is looking unlikely now
I believe that Johnson, telling all and sundry that he intended to break the law, makes him guilty of conspiracy!
I voted to remain so it would be useless for me to comment on this.
Why? It’ll still affect you.