Boris Johnson could have found Brexit loophole to avoid third delay, claims minister

Boris Johnson could have found Brexit loophole to avoid third delay, claims minister

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BORIS Johnson could have found a Brexit loophole to get him out of accepting a third delay, a minister has claimed.

James Duddridge said this morning that the bill passed by MPs earlier this month to force him to go cap in hand to the EU if he doesn’t get a deal, was “not perfect”.

Boris Johnson could have found a loophole in the Brexit delay law
UK Parliament UK Parliament

He suggested that the Government could have found a way around the Act, which will allow him to dodge the ruling without breaking the law.

Boris has repeatedly insisted he won’t ask the EU for a third delay to our exit, and has vowed to leave the EU on October 31 no matter what.

“The bill is not perfect,” Brexit minister Mr Duddridge told parliament today.

“The government believes (it) does have deficiencies and its effect is unclear.”

Last night the PM insisted that he would be able to do both.

“We will respect the law and we will come out on October the 31st,” he told ITV’s Robert Peston.

But Boris refused to say exactly how he planned to do this.

He’s repeatedly referred to the new law as the “Surrender Bill”, arguing it means the EU won’t give us a good deal as they think we’ll be forced to delay.

But MPs are openly speculating about how Boris can comply with the anti No Deal Brexit law but dodge an extension.

One told The Sun: “Boris could formally request an extension but then stress he won’t accept one – and essentially make life very difficult for the EU so they don’t offer one.

“Or he could get Hungary or another EU member state to veto it.”

Boris is appearing at the backbench 1922 committee this morning to speak to Tories.

And later today the Government will put forward a motion to try and secure their conference recess, which starts on Sunday.

But they could be gearing up for a defeat as Labour have vowed to block Boris closing the Commons again after the damning Supreme Court ruling earlier this week.

What is the law that could force Boris to get a third delay?

THE Benn Bill – dubbed that because it was put forward by Labour MP Hillary Benn – requires the Government to either reach a deal – or gain Parliament’s approval for a no-deal Brexit by October 19.

If the Government does not do either by the October deadline, the legislation would then require the Prime Minister to write to the EU to request another extension.

The date for this extension, as suggested in the bill, would be 31 January 2020.

If the EU suggests another date then the legislation requires the Prime Minister to accept this –  unless the Commons votes against the proposed date.

The bill includes the wording of the letter that the prime minister would have to write to the president of the European Council in his request for an extension.

If the EU proposes a different date, the PM will have two days to accept that offer.

But during this two-day period, MPs – not the government – will have the opportunity to reject the EU’s date.


The PM will chair a political meeting of his cabinet later today, No10 said.

And they also revealed that Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay is going to Brussels to meet Barnier tomorrow.
In technical talks yesterday the Government put forward more non-formal ideas on how to break the Brexit deadlock.
However, EU boss Guy Verhofstadt again stressed they weren’t good enough.
He said: “After meeting Michel Barnier this morning, Parliament reiterates the need for a legally operational solution to the situation Brexit created in N-Ireland. To preserve consumer safety, to protect our businesses and preserve the peace. So far UK proposals fall short on all 3 fronts.”

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