Johnson to inform Juncker: ‘I received’t talk about Brexit extension past 31 October’ | Politics


Boris Johnson will inform the outgoing European fee president, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Monday that he’ll defy a brand new act of parliament and refuse to debate or settle for any supply to increase the UK’s membership even when a Brexit deal can’t be agreed, Downing Road stated final evening.

The prime minister’s hardline message to Brussels that he’ll take the UK out of the EU on 31 October, come what could, will enrage MPs from all events who joined forces final week to power by a brand new regulation mandating him to ask the EU to extend UK membership from the present deadline of 31 October till 31 January subsequent 12 months, to keep away from a no-deal end result.

Over a working lunch in Luxembourg – at which the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, the UK Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, and Johnson’s Brexit adviser David Frost can even be current – Johnson will inform Juncker that the onus is on the EU in addition to the UK to redouble efforts to discover a deal. Nevertheless, if these efforts fail he will probably be equally clear that he won’t talk about or settle for any extension and can merely take the UK out of the EU with no settlement.

The prime minister is anticipated to inform the fee president: “We’re leaving on 31 October, come what could – so let’s work arduous to get a deal within the time remaining. Some MPs have been peddling a delusion that I’m not critical about getting a deal. Nothing may very well be farther from the reality. I’m striving for a deal and I feel we are able to obtain this. I’ll commit UK officers and my lead negotiator to work flat out to give you a brand new settlement with out being trapped into EU legal guidelines.”

He’s anticipated so as to add: “There must be little doubt about my dedication to take us out on 31 October. I can’t ask for an extension. I completely consider that our mates in Europe need an orderly exit, so now’s the time for critical talks.”

A No 10 supply stated there was no likelihood of the prime minister going cap in hand to the EU summit in mid- October. “The PM won’t negotiate a delay on the Brussels council,” the supply stated, earlier than suggesting there may very well be authorized challenges.

“We count on there to be a serious court docket battle instantly after the 19th [of October] and makes an attempt to cross laws revoking article 50, which the prime minister will refuse to contemplate in any circumstances. Conservative MPs who need one other delay don’t perceive that this is able to in all probability destroy the Conservative occasion and put [Jeremy] Corbyn into No 10.”

Johnson took intention final evening at opposition events and the 21 insurgent Tories who voted for the laws to dam no deal earlier than being stripped of the occasion whip. In an announcement, he informed voters: “Don’t be fooled by Corbyn and the ringleaders. On the one hand, they are saying I don’t need a deal. On the opposite, they wish to power me to increase. Each are flawed. I’m straining to get a deal, however I can even finish the uncertainty and take us out on 31 October.”

Keir Starmer



Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, warned the prime minister to not pursue an unlawful technique. {Photograph}: Ollie Millington/Getty Photos

Because the row escalated, Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, stated the prime minister ought to consider carefully earlier than pursuing an unlawful technique. “If Boris Johnson seeks to defy the regulation, then the results will probably be critical,” he stated. “Parliament has positioned sturdy authorized duties on Boris Johnson to safe an extension and cease a no-deal Brexit on the finish of October. If the prime minister thinks parliament goes to face by whereas he breaks the regulation, then he has one other suppose coming.”

Johnson’s try to border the Brexit argument as one between obstructive MPs in parliament and the 52% of the British individuals who voted to depart the EU now threatens to spiral right into a confrontation involving the courts.

Downing Road is, in accordance with insiders, analyzing whether or not it might problem within the courts the interpretation of the brand new laws (the so-called Benn act) to dam no deal and is searching for different methods to forestall Johnson having to hunt an extension.

On Saturday David Davis, a former Brexit secretary, stated he believed there may nicely be a means “to successfully legally kill off the Benn invoice”.

Individually the supreme court docket will start a joint listening to this week on whether or not the prime minister’s determination to droop parliament for 5 weeks till mid-October was lawful, after authorized challenges within the English, Scottish and Northern Irish courts.

Whereas English and Northern Irish judges have dominated that the suspension of parliament was lawful, three Scottish attraction court docket judges concluded final week that the choice was illegal, as suspension was clearly an try and “stymie” the Home of Commons and forestall MPs from scrutinising the federal government over Brexit. A last supreme court docket ruling is anticipated this week or early subsequent week.

Joanna Cherry QC, the SNP MP who collectively led the profitable authorized problem in Scotland, stated she was “cautiously optimistic” that the supreme court docket would observe the Scottish judges on the grounds that, whereas the courts can not topic the manager to political scrutiny, they’ve an obligation to make sure that the physique charged with doing so – parliament – is ready to carry out that job.

Downing Road stated that David Frost was making good progress in talks with DUP leaders, which might result in a breakthrough on the problem of the Irish border. Whereas the DUP chief, Arlene Foster, has denied that her occasion is shifting its place and would now be ready to simply accept regulatory checks within the Irish Sea and a few regulatory divergence from Britain – assuming there may be consent from the provinces – Johnson’s officers are decided to point out that they’re critical about avoiding a no deal.

Talking at a Folks’s Vote rally in Belfast on Saturday, the previous Tory MP and lawyer normal Dominic Grieve, one of many 21 Conservatives who misplaced the whip, stated Brexit would hurt the Northern Irish financial system no matter deal was reached and, in flip, a border would endanger peace. “Whether or not the principles in Northern Eire observe these of the EU or these of the remainder of the UK, one factor is for certain – there will probably be an financial border positioned in the way in which of enterprise in Northern Eire which doesn’t exist immediately.”

In an indication of divisions in cupboard over Brexit on Saturday, tradition secretary Nicky Morgan stated that if there was a second referendum she would vote Stay. “My instincts are that I used to be sorry that the Stay marketing campaign didn’t win in 2016 and that actually I’m sorry that we’ve seen all of the division and uncertainty during the last three-and-a-half years,” she informed the BBC.

She added she voted to remain within the EU “for a similar causes that I felt very firmly again in 2016 and I campaigned for Stay” – which she stated have been each financial and geopolitical.



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