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ITV’s Peston warns EU to brace for furious ‘internal rebellion’ if Brexit delay demanded

Daily Express :: UK Feed

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Boris Johnson faces the possibility of having to request a new extension to the Brexit deadline after MPs passed the so-called Benn Act in early September. The Prime Minister insisted he will abide by the law but it has been suggested he could circumvent the law by sending two letters to the European Union – one asking for a delay and another dismissing the first. Robert Peston warned attempts from Parliament to prevent Mr Johnson from annulling the request and having MPs ask for an extension would put EU member states in a “difficult position” with their national parliaments. 

The ITV Political Editor said: “Andrea Leadsom said that she approved of the Prime Minister’s plan which is to write a first letter under the Benn Act saying he’d like a Brexit delay and then write a second letter effectively saying he doesn’t really mean it.

“Whether he writes the letter or not, he will continue to say he doesn’t want a Brexit delay. EU leaders, I think, are in a very, very difficult position because in all the history of the EU is you negotiate with heads of Government.

“Boris Johnson will still be the head of the Government.”

He continued: “Actually, many of them will be thinking, ‘I might have a rebellion from my own Parliament.’

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“Is it really sensible for them to give a Brexit delay to a bunch of MPs who are not the British Government?”

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Responding to the warning, Labour MP Peter Kyle insisted the Prime Minister is not required to ask for an extension as long as he delivers on his pledge to secure a withdrawal agreement by October 31.

Mr Kyle said: “He doesn’t have to have a delay. He can leave on the 31 if he does what he promised to do during the leadership race for the Tory Party.

“He promised to deliver a deal that was better than Theresa May’s that had no backstop. He said he could do it all the way through it.

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“Since he’s become Prime Minister, he stood in Parliament, at the dispatch box, and promised time and again he will deliver a deal and it will be better than Theresa May’s and with no backstop.

“The point is, it’s his responsibility. If he isn’t the grown-up in the room that can go and deliver the deal he has promised, he can’t blame Parliament for standing up and taking control.”

Mr Johnson last week presented his proposal for alternative arrangements to have Brussels agree to the removal of the controversial Irish backstop from any deal.

The backstop was originally included as an insurance policy to ensure there would be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic but Brexiteers voiced concerns it could be used to keep the UK closely aligned to the single market and the customs union.

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The Prime Minister proposed to keep Northern Ireland in the single market as long as the Northern Ireland Assembly was granted the option to vote every four years on whether to remain in the arrangement. The region would however leave the customs union alongside the rest of the UK.

Brussels all but dismissed the offer as Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar claimed such a solution would result in the return of a customs border and thus undermine the requirements of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Johnson is to meet with his European counterparts at the next EU Summit set to convene in Brussels next week. 

The Government is then expected to call back MPs to Parliament on Saturday, October 19, for a special session of the House of Commons during which he will update members on whether he secured a deal or not. 

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ITV’s Peston warns EU to brace for furious ‘internal rebellion’ if Brexit delay demanded

Boris Johnson faces the possibility of having to request a new extension to the Brexit deadline after MPs passed the so-called Benn Act in early September. The Prime Minister insisted he will abide by the law but it has been suggested he could circumvent the law by sending two letters to the European Union – one asking for a delay and another dismissing the first.

Boris Johnson faces the possibility of having to request a new extension to the Brexit deadline after MPs passed the so-called Benn Act in early September. The Prime Minister insisted he will abide by the law but it has been suggested he could circumvent the law by sending two letters to the European Union – one asking for a delay and another dismissing the first.

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