Lawmakers can’t stop no-deal Brexit, says Johnson’s top aide
Lawmakers will be unable to stop a no-deal Brexit on October 31 by bringing down Britain’s government in a vote of no confidence next month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top aide has advised, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
Dominic Cummings, one of architects of the 2016 campaign to leave the European Union (EU), told ministers that Johnson could schedule a general election after the October 31 Brexit deadline if he loses a vote of no confidence in parliament, the newspaper said, citing sources.
Johnson has promised to lead Britain out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal but has a working majority of just one after his Conservative Party lost a parliamentary seat on Friday.
Some of his lawmakers have hinted they would vote against him to prevent a no-deal Brexit – a rising prospect that has sent the pound tumbling to 30-month lows against the dollar over the last few days.
Lawmakers are unable to table a motion of no confidence before next month because the House of Commons is in recess until September 3.
“(Lawmakers) don’t realize that if there is a no-confidence vote in September or October, we’ll call an election for after the 31st and leave anyway,” Cummings was quoted by one of the Sunday Telegraph’s sources as saying.
Johnson has said he would prefer to leave the EU with a deal but has rejected the Irish backstop – an insurance policy to prevent the return of a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland – which the EU says is key to any agreement.
The main opposition Labour Party has said it will oppose any Brexit deal brought forward by Johnson if it does not protect jobs, workers rights and the environment.
UK urges EU to reflect ‘political reality’ on Brexit
On the no-deal Brexit, Johnson’s government urged EU leaders again to drop their opposition to renegotiating the terms of Brexit, claiming recent European elections required a change of approach.
In an article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson’s Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said European Parliament elections in May had changed the political dynamic and urged EU leaders to amend the mandate of their chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.
“The political realities have changed since Mr Barnier’s instructions were set,” Barclay wrote.
“Since the last mandate was agreed, 61 percent of all the EU states’ MEPs have changed. Such a fundamental shift illustrates the need for a change of approach.”
“Mr Barnier needs to urge EU leaders to consider this if they too want an agreement, to enable him to negotiate in a way that finds common ground with the UK. Otherwise, no deal is coming down the tracks.”
Former prime minister Theresa May quit after delaying Brexit twice while she tried unsuccessfully to get the divorce terms she struck with Brussels through the British parliament.
But the EU has refused to reopen the deal, the result of 17 months’ tough negotiations.