1 October 2019 | UK NEWS
The Prime Minister is set to present his proposals for a Brexit deal to the European Union by the end of the week, it was reported yesterday. Mr Johnson is said to be “cautiously optimistic” about achieving a deal with the EU, adding that the UK has made “pretty big moves” in its negotiating stance in order to facilitate this, although he claimed it was for the EU to find the “landing zone”.
The proposals will reportedly be delivered after the Conservative Party Conference concludes on Wednesday. There were rumours at the conference on Sunday night that Conservative MPs had been recalled to Westminster to face the prospect of either a confidence vote or a motion to enfranchise 16 and 17-year-olds on Monday, although these proved to be false.
Besides attending his party’s conference, the Prime Minister has used his time in Manchester to make visits around the city. In one visit to a cash-and-carry firm, he said: “we are waiting to see whether our European friends will help us”, adding that: “whatever happens, we’ll come out on October 31”.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, has reaffirmed this view, telling the BBC there could be no more “dither and delay” (echoing a Boris line) and that “we will leave if we have to without a deal on October 31st”. He further added that he thought an no-deal exit from the European Union “may well happen”.
The Chancellor was also asked about the challenges faced by the Government in respect of the new “Benn Act”, which compels it to seek an extension to the Brexit process from the European Union if no deal has been agreed and passed in Parliament by October 19th. In response, he said: “Of course, every government should observe all laws at all times. We’re taking a careful look at that law.”
When further asked whether he knew how this law could be circumvented, he replied: “The intention of the law is clear and I do think it has absolutely made it harder for the Government to get the deal that we all want to see.”
He added: “That said, it can still be done. It’s not about getting around the law… I don’t really want to discuss the detail of this law, it’s a pretty fresh new law, but we are also clear at all times we, of course, like any government, we will absolutely observe the law.”
Note: An unpublished Analysis piece on the Benn Act by Wolves has been submitted to the Government via various channels for its consideration.
In Westminster today, the leaders of the Opposition parties have met in order to discuss plans for avoiding a no-deal Brexit on October 31st, potentially installing an interim ‘caretaker government’ and temporary Prime Minister in order to ensure this. They are also reported to have asked the Speaker, John Bercow, to approve an emergency debate under Standing Order 24 to request disclosure of no-deal planning, although he refused this.
Notably on this topic, however, we at Wolves note the parliamentary business scheduled for next Wednesday, October 9th:
We can only presume that this is related to today’s developments within the Opposition party ranks. It would appear to suggest that they are expecting to be in a position to form an interim government by the middle of next week. It should be stressed, however, that none of this is confirmed or official at this point. Mr Wishart is an SNP MP – the SNP have been the most vocal Opposition party in demanding a Vote of No Confidence thus far. He is also the ‘Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons’.
The Opposition parties have agreed not to table a confidence motion this week, with Independent Group for Change leader Anna Soubry telling reporters upon leaving the cross-party meeting that “there is no Vote of No Confidence this week.” However, while the parties did discuss who could potentially lead an interim government at the meeting, there reportedly remains disagreement, with Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson saying that “[Mr Corbyn] simply does not have the numbers”, in reference to her suspicion that not enough of the 21 Conservative MPs whose whip was recently withdrawn, or other independent MPs, would support him.
She added: “I have been crystal clear but I will do so again – Jeremy Corbyn is not going into Number 10 on the basis of Liberal Democrats’ votes.” However, Mr Corbyn’s stance on the matter was distinctly different. He said: “The position is quite simply this: when a Government collapses, the Leader of the Opposition is invited to form an administration.”
We will bring you further coverage of these ongoing developments as they proceed this week.