This no-deal Brexit plot could stop Boris Johnson forcing Britain out of the EU without a deal

Boris JohnsonGetty

  • Members of Parliament launch fresh plan to stop Boris Johnson forcing through a no-deal Brexit.
  • MPs led by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve have tabled an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill.
  • If passed, the amendment would force the House of Commons to sit on a series of dates leading up to December.
  • It would give MPs at least one day in October to legislate against a no-deal exit on October 31.
  • House of Commons speaker John Bercow will decide whether to select the amendment on Tuesday morning before MPs vote later in the day.

LONDON - Members of Parliament have launched a fresh attempt to stop Boris Johnson from forcing a no-deal Brexit through Parliament, if he becomes prime minister later this month.

Johnson, the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader and prime minister, has repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility of suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Now one Conservative MP, Dominic Grieve, has scheduled a new amendment to the ongoing Northern Ireland Bill, which is designed to stop the next prime minster suspending Parliament in order to force a no-deal exit on October 31.

If passed, the amendment would force the House of Commons to sit on September 4, October 9 and then every two weeks until December 18, and oblige ministers to regularly update Parliament during that period.

It would give MPs at least one sitting day in October where they could attempt to legislation against a no-deal Brexit.

Grieve told the BBC: "The chances are, if Brexit goes through - a no-deal Brexit - it is going to be the end of Northern Ireland's union with the United Kingdom, with serious political consequences flowing from it.

"That's a bill that is a perfectly legitimate place to start looking at how one might make sure no-deal Brexits are fully debated before they take place."

Tory MP and former Attorney General Dominic GrieveTory MP and former Attorney General Dominic GrievePeter Macdiarmid / Getty

The plan could be struck down by House of Commons Speaker John Bercow on Tuesday when he chooses which amendments will be put to a House of Commons vote ahead of the main vote later in the day.

Last week, he refused to choose an amendment to the governments spending plans - or "estimates" - which would have effectively shut down large areas of government spending if it went for a no-deal Brexit against the will of MPs.

Grieve and his allies could receive an unlikely helping hand from outgoing Prime Minister May.

The Times reports that May is considering giving MPs a free vote on the Grieve amendment, meaning Conservative MPs - including government ministers - will be expected to vote in a particular way.

The report suggests that Chancellor Philip Hammond has agreed to fund the outgoing prime minister's legacy plans, including £27 billion for education, as long as she grants MPs a free vote on stopping a no-deal Brexit.

Business Insider reported on Saturday that Conservative MPs who are against no-deal are optimistic of successfully legislating to prevent the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a deal in October.

A number of them said that while they had recently suffered setbacks, their numbers will soon be be boosted when Johnson, the likely next prime minister, removes swathes of Conservative MPs from government positions.

"Are we deflated? No," one former Conservative minister, turned rebel, told Business Insider last week.

"Fifty people are about to be sacked. Our numbers are going to increase.

"The numbers will be there [to prevent no-deal] and the opportunities will be there."

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.

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