Tory rebels, led by arch-Remainer Dominic Grieve, are set to table another amendment to stop the next Prime Minister suspending parliament in order to railroad Britain leaving the bloc without an agreement on October 31. Peers voted 272 to 169 in favour of the draft law – which will force a Government minister to address parliament in the run-up to the Halloween Brexit deadline. The amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill builds on an amendment narrowly passed in the Commons last week.
MPs backed a proposal by Mr Grieve calling for fortnightly reports from the Government on the efforts to restore the power-sharing executive.
The bill could further add to the Tory civil war, following reports some ministers could resign unless a free vote on the issue is offered by Prime Minister Theresa May.
BBC Newsnight’s political editor, Nicholas Watt, said yesterday evening: “Tonight I’ve learnt there are big discussions amongst big ministers about whether they should resign tomorrow.
Brexit news: Parliament will vote on an amendment to stop no deal
“It is to support a possible vote in Parliament which would effectively block the next Prime Minister from suspending Parliament.”
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary, David Gauke, has labeled the idea of proroguing parliament as “outrageous”.
Mr Gauke said: “The idea that parliament should be suspended in October at a crucial point in this country’s history that parliament should not be able to sit, should not be able to express its opinion and its will, I think would be outrageous.”
Brexit news: David Gauke has called the idea of suspending parliament ‘outrageous’
During the final Tory hustings in London last night, Boris Johnson again refused to rule out suspending Parliament.
His rival in the leadership contest, Jeremy Hunt insisted he would not use the method to force Britain’s exit from the EU.
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Brexit news: Boris Johnson has so far refused to rule out suspending parliament
8.50am update: Hunt slams Barnier’s ‘my way or the highway’ Brexit strategy
Jeremy Hunt has slammed Michel Barnier’s “my way or the highway” stance on Brexit and has called on Brussels find a “solution”to solve the impasse.
The Tory leadership hopeful has called on the EU to ditch the failed Withdrawal Agreement and “learn from what went wrong”.
The Foreign Secretary told BBC Today programme: “I understand Michel Barnier’s frustration and indeed his disappointment that his deal has essentially failed.
“But if you’re looking for a solution – and he used the word solution – then what you don’t do is say ‘Here is a 600-page deal that has failed to get through Parliament three times’ and say ‘I’m sorry it’s my way or the highway, take it or leave it’.
“You won’t get a solution if that happens. The way to get through the impasse is to learn from what went wrong.”
8.45am update: Senior EU official says UK not prepared for ‘hard’ Brexit
A top EU official has blamed the UK for the Brexit delay and insisted the European Union is “very well-prepared” for a no deal Brexit.
European Commission official, Martin Selmayr stated the bloc has not seen the same level of planning from Britain to deal with leaving the bloc.
Mr Selmayr told BBC Panorama: “We have followed the British debate and the British preparations very, very closely and we have seen what has been prepared on our side of the border for a hard Brexit – we don’t see the same level of preparation on the other side of the border.
“You would have to establish a lot of authorities in the United Kingdom that you don’t have at this moment in time so I think the European Union have been very well-prepared for that – we could live with a hard Brexit.
“We don’t think the same level of preparation is there on the UK side.”
8.35am update: Barnier claims May ‘never’ threatened a no deal Brexit
Michel Barnier has claimed Theresa May “never” threatened a no deal Brexit during three-years of negotiations with the European Union.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, insisted the Withdrawal Agreement was the only way to leave in an “orderly manner”.
In an explosive interview with BBC Panorama, recorded in May – Mr Barnier was asked if the Prime Minister or her team of negotiators ever mentioned or threatened a no deal exit.
Mr Barnier said: “No, no, I never listened to such a sentence. Never.”
Brexit news: Michel Barnier claims Theresa May ‘never’ threatened no deal
8.25am update: Barnier issues no deal warning to next PM – ‘Never been impressed by such a threat’
Michel Barnier has sent a stern message to the next Prime Minister insisting the EU will not be fazed by threats of a no deal Brexit.
The EU chief Brexit negotiator has warned Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt the bloc has “never been impressed” by threats of the UK leaving the bloc without an agreement.
The French eurocrat said: “I think that the UK side, which is well informed and competent and knows the way we work on the EU side, knew from the very beginning that we’ve never been impressed by such a threat. It’s not useful to use it.”