'No-deal Brexit' a 'very real prospect' says MP
PUBLISHED: 14:57 22 July 2019
'Summer plans have been cancelled and we are all on standby…' says Sir Hugo Swire in his latest column.
If you believe what you read in the papers, Brussels is preparing for 'brutal talks' with the next prime minister after the Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told Michael Barnier five times during a bad-tempered meeting that the withdrawal meeting was dead.
The very real prospect of a No Deal Brexit is becoming far more likely.
So what will happen if Britain doesn't agree a Brexit deal by October 31?
The reality is that No Deal is the default option.
Britain will automatically leave on that date unless the government changes the date again or revokes the Article 50 process by which it is leaving the EU.
However, EU leaders would have to agree to an extension and the new Prime Minister would have to agree to request it, which seems unlikely if Boris Johnson wins, which he is projected to do.
Many MPs believe that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous and are concerned by Boris's pledge to leave in October 'do or die'.
They are the biggest obstacle Boris would face.
That is probably why he refuses to rule out suspending parliament to prevent MPs blocking no deal.
But many remain MPs are not giving up.
Another attempt was made by Dominic Grieve recently to amend legislation on Northern Ireland to force the Government to make regular statements on restoring a Government in Northern Ireland.
He wanted to ensure parliament was sitting beyond the conference recess, giving MPs a chance to act.
This passed by one vote because a Conservative whip forgot to vote for herself.
The Last option they have is to trigger a vote of no confidence in the government. However, in order to have a new parliament up and running before October 31, this would have to be tabled days after parliament returns in September.
Then again, tribal loyalty to party is not as it should be, many Labour MPs, who have northern Leave seats, might well vote with the Government to get Brexit over the line.
So you see, it is all very uncertain as to what is going to happen in the next couple of months. Summer plans have been cancelled and we are all on standby….