Parliament in 'weakest position' it has ever been in to block no deal – 'Very difficult'

Posted on Aug 8 2019 - 12:15pm by admin

Boris Johnson has said the UK will officially leave the European Union by the end of October this year, with or without a deal, as he demands changes to the backstop mechanism within the withdrawal agreement from the EU. But, the European Union have so far refused to budge and repeatedly said the withdrawal agreement is not up for renegotiation – pushing Britain towards the prospect of leaving the bloc with no deal. Pro-EU MPs, such as Tory Dominic Grieve, have suggested Parliamentarians will still have an opportunity to rule out a no deal Brexit.

But, Dr Jack Simson Caird, a Senior Research Fellow in Parliaments and the Rule of Law, explained to that Parliament was now in a “weaker position” than it has been in the whole of the Brexit process at stopping a no deal exit.

He said: “I think Parliament is in a weaker position now than it has been at any stage in the process in terms of stopping no deal.

“A number of different institutions have said that the Institute for Government famously wrote a report saying that, and Dominic Raab picked up.

“Basically, I think the central point is right. If the Prime Minister is 100 percent determined to deliver no deal, it will be very very difficult, if not impossible for Parliament to stop them.”

READ MORE: Michael Gove lashes out at EU ‘putting up barriers’ in fiery attack

Boris Johnson and Dominic Grieve

Boris Johnson has vowed to deliver Brexit by the end of October this year (Image: GETTY)

Dr Jack Simson Caird

Dr Jack Simson Caird warned about Parliament’s weak position to block no deal (Image: EXPRESS)

I think Parliament is in a weaker position now than it has been at any stage in the process in terms of stopping no deal

Dr Jack Simson Caird

Speaking last week, he added: “The reason for that is because everyone knows a no deal is exit is the default, that is set out in Article 50, but also in domestic law, because Parliament in 2018 legislated to say they would repeal the European Communities Act on exit day – so that is the legal default.

“But, the main thing is just there is no time. There is very limited time when Parliament comes back at the beginning of September, then there is the conference recess – so there is very very little opportunities there for them to stop it.

“With Theresa May, you knew she would bring things to Parliament, which would give them an opportunity to reject the deal and do other things.

“With Boris, there is no guarantee he will bring anything to Parliament. He says the deal is dead, so there is no guarantee any opportunities to vote on Brexit will necessarily be presented.

“That means essentially opponents of no deal are on the back-foot going into the new Parliamentary session.”

Dominic Grieve

Dominic Grieve has clashed with Boris’ special adviser over no deal (Image: GETTY)

With the EU refusing to budge over the withdrawal agreement, Cabinet minister Michael Gove has said the Government is doing “everything possible” to ensure Britain is ready to leave the EU at the end of October “come what may”.

On Tuesday, Mr Gove accused the EU of refusing to engage in negotiations, insisting it was still possible there could be a deal before the October 31 deadline, even though both sides appeared deadlocked.

He said: ”At the moment, the EU appears to be putting up the barriers, saying that they don’t want to talk.

“I’m sure they will change their mind, I hope they will change their mind, but we are ready to leave on October 31 deal or no deal.”

Pro-EU Tory MP Dominic Grieve said on Monday there were “a number of things which the House of Commons can do, including bringing down the Government via a vote of no-confidence and setting up a new government in its place” to block no deal.

Rebels have hinted under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act if the Government lost a vote of no-confidence MPs could seek to put a new government of national unity in its place – before going to the EU to ask for a further Brexit extension.

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Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has demanded changes to the withdrawal agreement and said he would prefer a deal (Image: GETTY)

But, the remark was dismissed by the Prime Minister’s special adviser, Dominic Cummins, who reportedly suggested Mr Johnson would not necessarily have to resign, even if he lost a vote of no-confidence, or could even delay the timing of a potential general election until after Britain has left the EU.

Mr Grieve later warned the Queen could step in to “sack” Mr Johnson if he refused to quit after losing a potential vote of no-confidence.

He told Channel 4 News on Tuesday evening: “The idea that he’ll just sit back and say ‘I won’t co-operate, I won’t do anything and I’m not going to resign’ is fanciful.

“He would have to resign and if he didn’t resign and there was an alternative Government presented which had the support of the House of Commons, in an extreme case the Queen would have to sack him.”

The former Attorney General also attacked the Prime Minister’s special adviser, hitting out at Mr Cumming’s “characteristic arrogance with ignorance”.

Mr Cummings responded to the attack on Wednesday morning, saying: “I don’t think I am arrogant. I don’t know very much about very much. Mr Grieve will see what he is right about.”

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