They are demanding that the Prime Minister plead with Brussels for a further three-month extension unless there is a deal. This forced extension of Article 50 has been backed by anti-brexiteer faction led by the likes of Philip Hammond and David Gauke. The law would tie Mr Johnson’s hands to such an extent that it would provide the exact text of the letter he must send to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.
Most controversially, it would also require the Prime Minister to submit to a longer extension if EU leaders demand one.
In response to the Bill’s publication last night, a Government source said: “The idea that a British Prime Minister is going to be ordered to shuttle back and forth to Brussels accepting whatever he is given is completely unacceptable.”
Remain-backing MPs will start their rebellion today when they are expected to table a motion enabling them to take control of Parliamentary business from 3pm tomorrow.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the Bill could be Parliament’s last chance to stop a “reckless and damaging” No Deal Brexit.
The bill consists of demands that will bind the Prime Ministers hands and see Brexit negotiations persist well into 2020.
He will be forced to seek an extension of Article 50 unless Parliament votes for a deal or are in favour of a No Deal exit by October 19.
Boris Johnson must write to European Council President Donald Tusk requesting an extension to 11pm on January 31, 2020.
This then all depends on whether the EU actually agree to and extension and then there is the possibility of the EU demanding an extension to a different date.
Tomorrow’s Bill will be presented to Parliament by Labour MP Hilary Benn.
The Bill also includes provision for further extensions beyond January 31 if negotiations are taking longer.
Mr Benn said: “The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that the UK does not leave the EU on the October 31 without an agreement, unless Parliament consents.
“The Bill gives the Government time to reach a new agreement with the EU at the European Council meeting next month or to seek Parliament’s specific consent to leave the EU without a deal.
“If neither of these two conditions have been met, however, by October 19, the day after the European Council meeting concludes, then the Prime Minister must send a letter to the president of the European Council requesting an Article 50 extension until January 31, 2020.”
Mr Benn added: “If the European Council agrees to an extension to January 31, 2020, then the Prime Minister must immediately accept that extension.
“If the European Council proposes an extension to a different date, then the Prime Minister must accept that extension within two days, unless the House of Commons rejects it.”
Sir Keir Starmer said: “This Bill will stop Boris Johnson forcing through a reckless and damaging No Deal Brexit on October 31.”
Published at Tue, 03 Sep 2019 04:30:00 +0000