The Prime Minister has asked Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to see if parliament can be shut down from 9 September, according to the leaked Government document. The shutdown could take place immediately after MPs return from summer recess, with a five week deadlock proposed.
This would last up until the final EU summit on October 17, just days before Britain’s planned departure date when it would be too late for anti-Brexit MPs to block a no deal exit.
The leaked email, shown to the Observer, shows the leader has requested advice on the legality of halting parliamentary proceedings.
A Government source did not deny legal advice has been sought, confirming officials regularly ask for legal and policy advice.
Initial correspondence has shown shutting parliament could be possible if anti-Brexit campaigners do not first succeed in getting a motion through to ban the move.
Speaking to the Observer, former Tory headliner Dominic Grieve attacked the move and the Prime Minister’s contempt for proceedings.
He said: “This memo, if correct, shows Boris Johnson’s contempt for the House of Commons.
“It may be possible to circumvent the clear intention of the House of Commons in this way but it shows a total bad faith.
“Excluding the house from a national crisis that threatens the future of our country is entirely wrong.”
Speaking to Sky News, the Prime Minister said the money would not be legally pledged in a no deal scenario.
But Brussels are desperate to get their hands on the cash to plug a hole in the EU’s crippling finances.
French President Emmanuel Macron claims Britain should pay the entire bill, claiming failure to pay would amount to sovereign debt default.
The Prime Minister is desperate to secure a deal and has previously confirmed this was his priority.
He announced today the chances of a deal were improving but that EU leaders needed to realise the Withdrawal Agreement was dead.
Last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed changes could be made to the agreement but only if the UK found a solution to the Irish backstop.
Anti-Brexit MPs have hit back at Boris Johnson’s approach to proceedings and rumours are circulating over a possible vote of no confidence being tabled as soon as parliament returns in a couple of weeks.
Jeremy Corbyn has begged for support to lead an alternative Government to secure an extension to article 50 and call a General Election.
But there has been opposition to his move, with some Tory MPs saying they would not back the vote if it meant putting the Labour leader in Number Ten.
But insiders have said Mr Johnson would not resign if he lost a no confidence vote to push through a no deal exit for the country.