Boris Johnson summons MPs for emergency Saturday Parliament session to decide Brexit fate

Posted on Oct 9 2019 - 2:57pm by admin

Government sources have told Reuters ministers are planning to call the Parliamentary session on October 19 – regardless of whether Boris Johnson is able to win an agreement from EU leaders on a Brexit deal. The summit in Brussels on October 17 and 18 is crucial as it is the last scheduled meeting of leaders throughout the bloc before Britain is set to leave on October 31. The proposed Saturday session in Parliament is also the date by which Mr Johnson must ask the European Union for another delay to Brexit under the Benn Act, if no deal has been approved by Parliament and they have not agreed to the UK leaving without an agreement in place.

Mr Johnson has said he will abide by the law but is also continuing to insist to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 – deal or no deal.

The government source said if a deal has not been reached by the Saturday sitting in Parliament, a series of votes could be held on the day to decide on possible ways forward. 

Mr Johnson sent a revised Brexit plan to the EU last week, but it has received a lukewarm response from leaders as fears grow the UK will leave without an agreement.

Hopes of a Brexit deal faded significantly on Tuesday when in a phone call to the Prime Minister, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear to him one was “overwhelmingly unlikely”, according to a Downing Street source.

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Brexit news: Boris Johnson will summon MPs to an emergency Saturday sitting in Parliament (Image: GETTY)

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Brexit news: Angela Merkel dealt a huge blow to the Prime Minister’s hopes of a deal (Image: GETTY)

@BorisJohnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people

Donald Tusk

Just hours after the phone call, European Council President Donald Tusk launched an extraordinary attack against Mr Johnson on Twitter, warning the UK against a “stupid blame game” and telling him “the future of Europe and the UK” is at stake.

He wrote: “@BorisJohnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game.

“At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people.

“You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?”

READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: No deal chaos as FIVE Cabinet ministers plan to resign

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Brexit news: Boris Johnson has warned the UK will leave the EU on October 31 (Image: PA )

Following a phone call with Mr Johnson on Tuesday, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also admitted it would be “very difficult” to secure a Brexit deal by next week.

The two leaders are due to meet on Thursday in a last-ditch attempt to agree on a Brexit deal.

But following last night’s phone call, Mr Varadkar told RTE news: “There are some fundamental objectives that haven’t changed for the past three years and we need them guaranteed,” he told RTE news.

“I think it is going to be very difficult to secure an agreement by next week, quite frankly.

“Essentially what the United Kingdom has done is repudiate the deal that we negotiated in good faith with Prime Minister (Theresa) May’s government over two years and sort of put half of that now back on the table and are saying ‘That’s a concession’. And of course it isn’t really.”

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Brexit news: Donald Tusk hit out at Boris Johnson as tensions rise throughout the EU (Image: @eucopresident / Twitter)

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Brexit news: Leo Varadkar also rejected Boris Johnson’s new plan (Image: PA)

Mr Johnson also held talks with David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament, in Downing Street on Tuesday.

But following those discussions, Mr Sassoli warned there had been “no progress” and MEPs would not agree to a compromise deal “at any price”.

Echoing Mr Varadkar’s comments from last week, he also warned the revised proposed customs arrangements for Northern Ireland are a “long way from something to which the Parliament could agree”.

Tensions thought European have been rising significantly over the past 24 hours amid frantic manoeuvring in the fight to get a Brexit deal agreed.

The Downing Street source said Mrs Merkel told Mr Johnson the only way to break the current deadlock was for Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union.

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Brexit news: The next two weeks are crucial in negotiations between the UK and EU (Image: EXPRESS)

But she warned it would also have to accept EU single market rules on trade in goods.

The source claimed this changing position in Germany’s approach made a negotiated deal “essentially impossible”.

But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman denied negotiations were over.

Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost is continuing to meet EU counterparts in Brussels in a desperate attempt to thrash out a deal.

But the Downing Street source said the call between the Prime Minister and Mrs Merkel had been a “clarifying moment”, adding: “Talks in Brussels are close to breaking down.”

Norbert Rottgen, an ally of Mrs Merkel who is also chair of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, denied there had been a change in the German position.

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Brexit news: David Sassoli was critical of the Prime Minister’s proposals following a Downing Street meeting (Image: GETTY)

He also poured cold water on Mr Johnson’s new Brexit proposals, defending the EU against earlier claims from Downing Street sources the EU has not been willing to engage in negotiations.

Mr Rottgen also echoed Mr Tusk’s comments. warning “blaming others for the current situation is not fair play”.

He tweeted: “There is no new #German position on #Brexit.

“Frankly a #deal on the basis of #Johnson’s proposals until October has been unrealistic from the beginning and yet the #EU has been willing to engage.

“Blaming others for the current situation is not fair play!

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