Boris Johnson facing crunch 24 hours as he tries to woo Labour MPs into backing his Brexit deal

Boris Johnson won over 28 Tory Spartans, ex-rebels and Labour MPs today as he tried to ‘love-bomb’ his way to victory in a crunch Brexit vote.

With less than 24 hours until a massive showdown in the House, the PM is desperately wooing politicians from across parties with his appeal to ‘get Brexit done’. There are rumours that Labour MPs have been offered funding for their constituencies if they defy Jeremy Corbyn. 

Meanwhile, the thumbscrews are being deployed on Tory hardliners and the group of rebels who were expelled from the party for opposing No Deal. 

Mr Johnson now only needs to bring another 33 on board to hit the 320 to guarantee winning a vote. 

However, there are growing doubts about whether the crunch division will even happen, after Remainers launched a bid to delay the decision and force Mr Johnson to beg for a Brexit extension beyond October 31.

That could throw the situation into total chaos and doom the country to No Deal – as Emmanuel Macron and Irish PM Leo Varadkar warned this afternoon that the bloc is unlikely to approve any extension. 

As the wrangling gathered place, there were threats that Spartans who hold out against the proposals could lose the whip, while outcasts who fall into line this time could be brought back into the fold. 

There are even claims that the Tories could ‘go soft’ on MPs who are stripped of the Labour whip and end up standing as independents at a looming election. 

A package to protect workers’ rights could also be unveiled in a bid to placate opposition MPs.   

The Prime Minister is said to have begin attempts to entice Jeremy Corbyn's backbenchers from Leave areas in the North and Midlands to side with him and get the UK out of the EU

The Prime Minister is said to have begin attempts to entice Jeremy Corbyn's backbenchers from Leave areas in the North and Midlands to side with him and get the UK out of the EU

The Prime Minister is said to have begin attempts to entice Jeremy Corbyn’s backbenchers from Leave areas in the North and Midlands to side with him and get the UK out of the EU

Angela Merkel is said to have said told EU leaders they should delay Brexit again if MPs fail to pass Boris Johnson 's Brexit deal

Angela Merkel is said to have said told EU leaders they should delay Brexit again if MPs fail to pass Boris Johnson 's Brexit deal

Angela Merkel is said to have said told EU leaders they should delay Brexit again if MPs fail to pass Boris Johnson ‘s Brexit deal

There are signs that the frantic push might be making progress as at least 28 MPs have come forward to say they are ready to back the deal. 

But every vote would count in the huge ‘Super Saturday’ clash after the DUP stepped up its opposition and demanded the Tory hardliners protect the integrity of the UK. 

The hardline Northern Irish loyalists are furious at what they see as Mr Johnson’s sell-out of the province in the deal struck in Brussels yesterday. 

The MPs lining up behind Boris 

Leave-supporting Labour MPs, rebel former Tories and ‘Spartan’ Brexiteers who opposed Theresa May’s deal have all indicated they will back Boris Johnson on Saturday. 

Some 21 Tories lost the party whip last month after voting to block a No Deal Brexit but they do not all oppose a deal that gets the UK out.

There are signs Mr Johnson is winning over ERG members who never voted for a deal before. 

Ex-Tory MPs: 

Ed Vaizey

Oliver Letwin

Former Tory MP Nicholas Soames

Former Tory MP Nicholas Soames

Former Tory MP Nicholas Soames 

Nicholas Soames

Stephen Hammond

Margot James 

Richard Benyon 

Alistair Burt

Caroline Nokes 

Labour MPs: 

John Mann 

Ronnie Campbell

Jim Fitzpatrick

Kevin Barron

Graham Stringer

Sarah Champion  

Independent MPs:

Frank Field

Ian Austin 

Nick Boles 

Independent MP Nick Boles

Independent MP Nick Boles

Independent MP Nick Boles

ERG members:  

Andrea Jenkyns

Andrew Bridgen

David Jones

James Duddridge

Peter Bone

Priti Patel

Priti Patel

Priti Patel

Priti Patel

Ranil Jayawardena

Theresa Villiers

Andrew Rosindell

John Baron 

Suella Braverman 

DUP MP Sammy Wilson told Italian paper La Repubblica the party would not abstain – which would have helped the Government – but would stand ‘solid as the Rock of Gibraltar’ against it. 

The DUP Brexit spokesman told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I can give you absolute assurance we will not be voting for this deal when it comes before the Commons tomorrow.’

Reports suggest that the DUP believes as many as 15 members of the Tory European Research Group of hardline Brexiteers will join it in voting against the deal, despite being threatened with the loss of the party whip. 

Mr Johnson faces another blow this morning when an influential collective of Tory Eurosceptics urged MPs to vote the deal down.

The Thatcherite Bruges Group, which includes MPs John Redwood, Norman Tebbit and Lord Lamont, revealed this morning that it opposes Mr Johnson’s deal.

In a joint statement with the Bow Group and Fishing for Leave, its chairman Barry Legg said: ‘We urge members of Parliament who wish to honour the result of the Referendum to reject this defective agreement if it is put before them.’ 

But one Tory moderate, who is backing the deal despite misgivings, urged ‘Spartans’ to give up on their ‘wet dream’ of forcing No Deal.

‘The ‘no extension ‘ from Juncker is a two-edged sword: for Redwood, Chope and Paterson it means if the PM is defeated tomorrow we leave with no Deal which is their wet dream moment,’ they told MailOnline. ‘Hopefully more Labour people will get it and therefore vote for it. It will be tight but doable – just.’ 

A Leave-backing Labour MP told MailOnline they had heard the government was wooing waverers with suggestions of extra funding for their constituencies. 

But they warned that ministers needed to show more ‘imagination’ to get bigger numbers to go against the leadership. 

‘If I were the Tories I would be saying in those safe Labour seats, if the MPs back the deal and get stripped of the vote, they will not stand against them,’ the MP said.

‘Let the love bombing begin.’ 

However, in a piece of Parliamentary trickery, an amendment tabled by rebel ringleaders could effectively block the PM from seeking approval for his deal until next week.

Mr Johnson has tabled a motion asking MPs to sign off his Brexit deal after it was dramatically finalised with EU leaders yesterday,

That would ensure he is caught by the Remainer law known as the Benn Act, which orders him to send a letter to Brussels requesting an extension if no agreement has been passed by tomorrow. 

The government text due to be voted on tomorrow states that the House ‘approves the negotiated withdrawal agreement’.

If it passes, the provision of the Benn Act – which says the PM must beg the EU for an extension unless a deal has been approved by tomorrow – will have been met. 

The government would then start pushing through legislation to implement the detail of the agreement.

However, the amendment put forward by former Cabinet minister Oliver Letwin would change the motion to make clear that the House has not given approval.

Instead, MPs would specify that they are witholding support until after the legislation is fully finalised – effectively reversing the process. 

The tweak is intended to close a loophole in the Benn Act, as in theory MPs could approve the deal in principle and then the government could refuse to bring forward legislation to achieve No Deal on October 31.

But the names signed up to the amendment have raised suspicions about the motivations. 

Alongside Sir Oliver, fellow former Tories Philip Hammond, David Gauke Dominic Grieve and Nick Boles, Labour’s Hilary Benn, and Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson have signed up. 

Even if the clash does happen and Mr Johnson gets the backing of all 287 Tory MPs, he will need to win over 33 others to get the 320 votes he needs for a majority.

 Ministers led by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove are mounting a major operation to get the backing of the 21 ex-Tories stripped of the whip last month over their attempt to block No Deal, as well as potential Labour rebels.

Mr Johnson is also understood to have been personally ringing around Tory backbenchers on his mobile to talk them through the proposals.

Backbenchers were also invited to briefings on the deal hosted by ministers including Mr Gove, Home Secretary Miss Patel and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

And it is understood Mr Gove, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland held a meeting with 11 of the 21 MPs who lost the whip.

Labour’s Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell has already said he will vote for Mr Johnson’s deal and all eyes will be on other backbenchers to see if they can be enticed into the Government’s voting lobby tomorrow afternoon.

Jim Fitzpatrick and Kevin Barron have also suggested they could back it.  

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he would ‘have a chat’ with ‘good socialist’ Mr Campbell.

He told Today: ‘On this one I’m going to have a chat with him and point out to him: please do not give this power (to weaken workers’ rights) to Boris Johnson because you know what he’ll do. 

Germany drops a bombshell: Angela Merkel says a delay to Brexit is ‘unavoidable’ if MPs vote down Boris Johnson’s deal 

Angela Merkel dropped a Brexit bombshell on Westminster today, revealing EU leaders would delay the UK’s departure again if MPs fail to pass Boris Johnson‘s deal.

Her stunning intervention came after European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker appeared to rule out any more delays past October 31. 

In remarks likely to bolster opposition to the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement ahead of Saturday’s crunch vote in the Commons, the German Chancellor is said to have made the remarks at the European Council in Brussels.

Her suggestion, reported by the Guardian, came amid confusion over whether the UK would be kept in the EU into November if Mr Johnson failed to win over Tory rebels and Labour Leave supporters in large enough numbers on Super Saturday.

While the summit significantly avoided pointing to any delay, it also fell short of categorically ruling one out if Mr Johnson loses his Commons vote. 

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker had told reporters there will be no ‘prolongation’.

‘He’ll undermine trade union rights. Boris Johnson and those Tory MPs that populate the Cabinet, these are the extreme right who have attacked trade unions throughout their political careers.’

He added: ‘No MP, as far as I’m concerned, who has the true interest of their constituents at heart can allow that to happen.’    

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the Government had ‘certainly not given up’ on their DUP ‘friends’ but the responsibility was on ‘setting up the deal and to argue for its benefits and its merits in relation to Northern Ireland’.

He told the BBC ‘those that want to criticise or to block this deal will be holding Britain back’.

‘It’s not clear where they go and certainly not clear from listening to the EU that there will be any changes now, and I know they said that before and I think it’s only through this deal and through the leadership the Prime Minister has shown that we can get Brexit done and we can also get the country as a whole moving forward,’ he said.

Mr Wilson said the DUP made concessions with the Prime Minister in order to help him get a deal but suspected he would do what was best for the Conservative Party.

‘We are disappointed he didn’t stick to the red lines he said he would,’ the DUP MP said.

He argued, in the interview with the BBC, that a successful election could help Mr Johnson get a better deal.

‘I believe, with a big majority, he can be more robust in his negotiations,’ Mr Wilson added.

Remainers’ plot to take a wrecking ball to Boris Johnson’s deal hopes 

Boris Johnson hopes of getting his Brexit deal past MPs are teetering on the brink today as Remainers plot to force him to beg for a Brexit extension.

In a piece of Parliamentary trickery, an amendment tabled by rebel ringleaders would effectively block the PM from seeking approval for his deal until next week.

That would ensure he is caught by the Remainer law ordering him to send a letter to Brussels requesting an extension if no agreement has been passed by tomorrow.

The extraordinary tactics – backed by anti-Brexit campaigners including Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and Labour’s Hilary Benn – emerged as Mr Johnson launched an all-out drive to get his package over the line in a special ‘Super Saturday’ sitting of the Commons.

After the deal was dramatically finalised with EU leaders yesterday, the government has tabled a motion asking for MPs to sign it off.

However, former Cabinet minister Oliver Letwin has put down a change that would gut the plan. 

Instead MPs the text would be amended to say that ‘this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.’ 

‘It is one of the reasons why we believe that voting this down tomorrow is not the end of the game but in fact probably opens up possibilities for the Government that are not available at present but will be after a general election.’

Mr Wilson said he suspected the EU were not able to give Mr Johnson as many concessions due to worries the PM was ‘vulnerable’ in Parliament, following the success of the Benn Act.   

The government’s efforts to get a deal through could be completely derailed by the latest Remainer revolt. 

After the agreement was dramatically finalised with EU leaders yesterday, the government has tabled a motion asking for MPs to sign it off.

But former Cabinet minister Oliver Letwin has put down a change that would gut the plan. 

Instead MPs the text would be amended to say that ‘this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.’ 

The extraordinary tactics – backed by anti-Brexit campaigners including Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and Labour’s Hilary Benn – emerged as Mr Johnson launched an all-out drive to get his package over the line in a special ‘Super Saturday’ sitting of the Commons. 

That would ensure he is caught by the Remainer law known as the Benn Act, which orders him to send a letter to Brussels requesting an extension if no agreement has been passed by tomorrow. 

‘Come together’ and get it done: Boris takes his battle back to Westminster with call for MPs’ backing after securing last-gasp Brexit deal against all the odds

Boris Johnson last night urged MPs to ‘come together’ and get Brexit done after securing an extraordinary last-minute deal.

In a remarkable turnaround, the Prime Minister agreed a deal with the EU which scraps the hated Irish backstop and leaves the UK free to strike trade deals around the world.

Tomorrow he will put the deal to MPs on a historic Saturday sitting of Parliament as he continues a frantic dash to keep his pledge to take Britain out of the European Union by October 31.

In Brussels last night, Mr Johnson delivered an emphatic message to MPs, saying: ‘It hasn’t always been an easy experience for the UK.

In Brussels last night, Mr Johnson delivered an emphatic message to MPs, saying: ‘It hasn’t always been an easy experience for the UK

In Brussels last night, Mr Johnson delivered an emphatic message to MPs, saying: ‘It hasn’t always been an easy experience for the UK

In Brussels last night, Mr Johnson delivered an emphatic message to MPs, saying: ‘It hasn’t always been an easy experience for the UK

‘It has been long, it has been painful, it has been divisive, and now is the moment for us as a country to come together.

‘Now this is the moment for our parliamentarians to come together and get this thing done.’

The deal came at a price, with Mr Johnson’s DUP allies refusing to back it and accusing the PM of ‘driving a coach and horses’ through the Good Friday Agreement. The loss of ten DUP MPs leaves him facing an uphill struggle to win tomorrow’s vote.

Allies of Mr Johnson believe his strenuous efforts will play well with an electorate desperate to get the tortuous Brexit process over, even if his deal is defeated by MPs.

They are gearing up for an election within weeks in which Mr Johnson will urge the public to give him a majority to finally deliver Brexit.

But David Cameron’s former spin chief, Sir Craig Oliver, warned the strategy was high-risk, saying: ‘I suspect Boris Johnson and his team think they have the numbers to pass the deal without the DUP – but even if they don’t, they get to run a populist election campaign, which should be enough. But it’s so volatile a change of just a few points could be disastrous.’

Last night a concerted effort was under way to woo Labour MPs in Leave-voting areas to back the deal in return for guarantees on workers’ rights and environmental standards. Allies of the PM believe he needs to win the support of 15 Labour MPs to have a chance of victory.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker also turned up the pressure on MPs, saying ‘there will be no prolongation’, after holding talks with Mr Johnson.

In another bid to ramp up the pressure, senior Tories made it clear that Eurosceptic hardliners who voted against the deal would have the whip withdrawn.

Whips have also indicated that the 21 Tory MPs kicked out last month for helping rule out No Deal could be invited back in if they help push the deal through Parliament.

The breakthrough came as:

  • Jeremy Corbyn came under fire after urging Labour MPs to reject the deal before he had even read it;
  • Business leaders urged Parliament to back the deal, with the Institute of Directors warning MPs to avoid the ‘damage a disorderly exit could cause’;
  • Remainer plans to force through a second referendum tomorrow collapsed into chaos and infighting;
  • European Parliament chief David Sassoli said he was ‘confident’ MEPs would approve the plan;
  • It emerged that the final sticking point was Mr Johnson’s insistence that Britain secure the right to scrap the hated ‘tampon tax’ throughout the UK;
  • Nigel Farage faced ridicule after suggesting it would be better to delay Brexit than back Mr Johnson’s deal.

Downing Street said Mr Johnson had confounded his critics who said he was interested only in No Deal. A senior source said: ‘We were told that the EU would never reopen the Withdrawal Agreement. 

We were told it was impossible to replace the backstop. We were told Northern Ireland could not leave the customs union. The PM has achieved all of those things and more.

‘This gets Great Britain totally out, with special arrangements for Northern Ireland covered by democratic consent. We are taking back control.’

Nigel Farage: It’d be better to delay Brexit

Nigel Farage claimed it would be better to delay Brexit than to accept Boris Johnson’s deal with Brussels.

The Brexit Party leader savaged the compromise agreed between the Prime Minister and the EU at a summit yesterday. He even appeared to back the law which will force Mr Johnson to delay Britain’s departure from the EU.

Under the so-called Benn Act, the UK must ask for an extension to the Brexit timetable to January next year should a deal not be passed by October 19. 

Mr Farage, who favours No Deal, tweeted after EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said there should be no ‘prolongation’ of Britain’s departure.

It prompted Mr Farage to call Mr Juncker ‘an unelected, retiring bureaucrat’, adding: ‘He is overriding the Benn Act. The EU shows itself to be a thuggocracy – power without accountability.’

 Earlier yesterday, Mr Farage told Sky News: ‘Look, I would much rather we had an extension and a chance of a general election than accept this dreadful new EU treaty.’

MPs are set to vote on the 11th hour agreement in an historic session in the Commons tomorrow. 

A deal passing would remove the Brexit Party’s reason to exist at the next election. Mr Farage has previously suggested the Tories enter an electoral pact with his party.

He said yesterday: ‘If withdrawal agreement four fails on Saturday, as I believe it will, I think then Boris Johnson as Prime Minister would drop the idea of this new treaty and there is a possibility of putting together a Leave alliance for the next general election. I think there is an opportunity here for a Brexit alliance… that would win a big majority in Parliament.’

But a senior Tory source said Mr Farage was ‘only interested in an outcome that maximises his electoral opportunities – not what delivers for Britain’.

 

The new deal strips out the controversial Irish backstop and replaces it with a complex deal for Northern Ireland designed to prevent a hard border. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the province will remain aligned with single market rules for all goods and will have to levy the same rate of VAT as the Irish Republic. 

It will also have to accept customs checks on goods arriving from the rest of the UK – effectively a customs border in the Irish Sea, which Mr Johnson once vowed to oppose.

But, crucially, the EU also agreed to a form of democratic consent, which will give Northern Ireland the opportunity to leave the arrangement every four years if a majority in the devolved Stormont Parliament vote for it. Mr Johnson said it was ‘an excellent deal for Northern Ireland’.

But the DUP’s deputy leader Nigel Dodds criticised the PM, saying: ‘He has been too eager by far to get a deal at any cost. If he held his nerve and held out he would have got better concessions that kept the integrity of the UK.’

Mr Johnson said he was ‘very confident’ of getting the deal through. But privately, aides admit they face a fierce battle.

One senior source said: ‘MPs should get Brexit done, but they are too mad – they’re bound to vote it down.’

Failure to win the vote would leave the PM on collision course with Parliament and the courts over the controversial law that will force him to seek an extension if he has not got a deal by tomorrow night.

But last night there were signs that the 28 Eurosceptic ‘Spartan’ MPs – who voted down Theresa May’s deal three times – were warming to the agreement. Andrew Bridgen, of the European Research Group, said he was willing to back the deal despite the DUP’s opposition.

He said: ‘This is far more palatable to me. It looks like Brexit, it smells like Brexit. That’s Brexit for me.’

Sir Nicholas Soames, one of the 21 Tories expelled last month, said he would back the deal, and predicted most of the group would do the same.

Rotherham MP Kevin Barron last night became the first Labour MP to publicly back the deal.

This is how Boris Johnson could win over enough MPs to get his deal through Parliament. He faces a uphill struggle to win the vote on Saturday

This is how Boris Johnson could win over enough MPs to get his deal through Parliament. He faces a uphill struggle to win the vote on Saturday

This is how Boris Johnson could win over enough MPs to get his deal through Parliament. He faces a uphill struggle to win the vote on Saturday

Will MPs support Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan? And what will happen if Remainer rebels succeed in hijacking the PM’s deal? All the key questions answered ahead of ‘Super Saturday’

Boris Johnson is locked in a frantic race against time as he tries to persuade a majority of MPs to back his Brexit deal at a crunch vote in the House of Commons tomorrow. 

The Prime Minister has less than 24 hours to drum up support for the deal he unexpectedly struck with the EU yesterday. 

If MPs vote for the deal the UK will be on course for an orderly departure from the bloc on October 31.

But if they vote against it or back a Remainer amendment which would scupper the PM’s plan the UK’s Brexit fate will be plunged into uncertainty. 

Here is a run down of how ‘Super Saturday’ could play out and the events that could follow in the run up to the Halloween Brexit deadline.

What is happening on Saturday? 

Mr Johnson will formally present his divorce accord to the Commons and ask MPs to vote for it. 

The day will start with the PM setting out the terms of the agreement in a statement to the House which is due to begin shortly after 9.30am. 

Following a lengthy debate MPs will then vote on the deal – and any amendments which are selected by Commons Speaker John Bercow – at approximately 2.30pm. 

Boris Johnson, pictured in Brussels yesterday, will present his Brexit deal to the House of Commons tomorrow

Boris Johnson, pictured in Brussels yesterday, will present his Brexit deal to the House of Commons tomorrow

Boris Johnson, pictured in Brussels yesterday, will present his Brexit deal to the House of Commons tomorrow

What amendments have been tabled and what would they do? 

At the moment there are three amendments which have been officially put forward by MPs and which could be put to a vote. 

One from an SNP MP would force the government to revoke Article 50 while another from the SNP would reject the PM’s deal and demand a Brexit delay until January 31 in order to make time for an election. 

If either of those are selected they are very unlikely to secure the backing of a majority of MPs. 

But the third amendment has a much better chance of passing and would represent a major headache for the government. 

What is the third amendment? 

A cross-party group of MPs led by former Tory Sir Oliver Letwin and Labour MP Hilary Benn have put forward a proposal which, if agreed, would withhold approval for the PM’s deal until the government has passed all the legislation needed to deliver an orderly Brexit. 

In simple terms the PM’s deal would still be alive but it would not have been formally backed by MPs. 

That would mean Mr Johnson would still have to comply with the Benn Act and ask the EU for an extension.

The anti-No Deal law states that an extension must be asked for unless a deal has been agreed by MPs by close of play tomorrow.

The amendment is therefore designed to act as a further protection against a No Deal divorce from the EU.

The PM would still be able to move forward with his deal but the UK would almost certainly not leave the EU on October 31.  

The cross-party nature of the amendment – and the expected backing of Labour – means that if it is selected by Mr Bercow and put to a vote it has a good chance of being agreed.  

What will the government do if the Letwin amendment is passed by MPs? 

Mr Johnson will have two options. He could choose to play ball with the amendment and bring forward all the laws needed to make Brexit happen. 

But this would be risky because the PM would not know if there was a majority of MPs in favour of his deal which means it could all fall apart further down the line. 

It would also force him to ask the EU to delay Brexit – something he does not want to do.

The second option would be for the premier to disregard the amendment, accuse MPs of hijacking the Brexit process and then demand a general election.

Will there be a second referendum amendment?  

Currently it is unclear whether pro-EU MPs will pull the trigger on trying to force a second referendum amid concerns they may not have the numbers to win. 

It is thought that such an amendment would grant approval to the PM’s deal but only if it was then put back to the people. 

If the amendment is tabled and selected it will have the potential to dramatically alter the Brexit process. 

What happens if MPs vote in favour of a second referendum? 

If a second referendum amendment is agreed by the Commons tomorrow it would trigger a volatile chain of events that are hard to predict. 

The first question for the PM in the event such an amendment is agreed is whether he would proceed to push a vote on his deal. 

Votes on amendments always take place before the vote on the substantive motion which means the PM will have the ability to pull the division on his deal if he has just been defeated on holding a second referendum. 

Sir Oliver Letwin, pictured in the House of Commons yesterday, has tabled an amendment which would bolster anti-No Deal protections

Sir Oliver Letwin, pictured in the House of Commons yesterday, has tabled an amendment which would bolster anti-No Deal protections

Sir Oliver Letwin, pictured in the House of Commons yesterday, has tabled an amendment which would bolster anti-No Deal protections

Sir Oliver's amendment has the support of Hilary Benn, pictured in London on October 8, as well as a large number of cross-party MPs

Sir Oliver's amendment has the support of Hilary Benn, pictured in London on October 8, as well as a large number of cross-party MPs

Sir Oliver’s amendment has the support of Hilary Benn, pictured in London on October 8, as well as a large number of cross-party MPs

The PM is adamant that he does not want a second referendum and if he was to pull the vote on his deal and then refuse to present it to the Commons for a second time he would likely pivot to try to force a general election. 

The Benn Act states that the PM must ask the EU for a Brexit delay if no agreement has been backed by MPs by close of play tomorrow. 

Assuming he then complied with the Act and the EU granted a delay the PM would then seemingly have cleared a path to an election because opposition leaders have said they would agree a snap poll if a No Deal split has been ruled out. 

What happens if MPs vote in favour of a second referendum and the PM pushes ahead with a vote on his deal?

Given the PM’s opposition to a second referendum it is unlikely he would proceed with a vote on the deal itself if MPs pass an amendment in favour of a ‘People’s Vote’. 

But if he did it is likely the deal would be agreed by MPs – the referendum provision would allow many critics to vote for the deal in the belief that it would be rejected by the country when pitched against Remain at a national ballot.  

If Mr Johnson was willing to go along with the second referendum plan – again, this is extremely unlikely – he would then have to ask the EU for a delay to make time for the vote to be held, potentially in the first half of next year. 

If Mr Johnson allowed the vote to go ahead and the deal plus a referendum was agreed to but he then refused to put in place the necessary measures to hold that ballot it would be up to rebel MPs to take control of the Commons to push through the necessary legislation to make a ‘People’s Vote’ happen. 

If they failed there would then almost certainly be a general election because it would literally be the only option left. 

What happens if MPs vote in favour of a second referendum but then reject the PM’s deal? 

This feels incredibly unlikely because if an amendment is put forward to hold a public vote on the PM’s deal and it was passed by MPs there is no reason to think that majority would disappear on the subsequent vote on the amended deal. 

But if for some weird reason it happened it would trigger the same outcomes as if there is no second referendum amendment and MPs simply reject the PM’s deal.

John Bercow, the Commons Speaker pictured at an event in London on Wednesday, will play a key role on 'Super Saturday' because he will be in charge of selecting which amendments are voted on

John Bercow, the Commons Speaker pictured at an event in London on Wednesday, will play a key role on 'Super Saturday' because he will be in charge of selecting which amendments are voted on

John Bercow, the Commons Speaker pictured at an event in London on Wednesday, will play a key role on ‘Super Saturday’ because he will be in charge of selecting which amendments are voted on

What happens if MPs reject the PM’s Brexit deal?

In the event that MPs vote down the PM’s new accord there are a variety of different ways forward which Mr Johnson could choose from. 

Option one: If the deal was narrowly defeated and Mr Johnson believed there was a path to victory he could ask the EU for a delay – he will be legally required to do so under the Benn Act – and then either hold a second vote next week or ask Brussels to tweak the deal before a second vote. 

Should the EU agree to make changes the PM could ask MPs to vote again and if it then passed the UK would be on course to leave the EU with an agreement but probably after the October 31 deadline. 

If the EU refused to budge or if MPs stuck to their guns then the UK would be on course to quit the bloc without an agreement.  

Option two: The PM could refuse to ask for a Brexit delay and opt to resign instead. A government official would then likely ask the EU for an extension in order to comply with the Benn Act.

Assuming the EU granted an extension a general election would then follow. 

Option three: The PM could ask the EU to delay the UK’s departure from the bloc in order to trigger an election in a final attempt to break the Brexit stalemate. 

Brussels has suggested it would grant an extension for an election and if everything went to plan there would then be a snap poll held before the end of 2019. 

Option four: The PM could ask for the EU to grant a delay and the bloc could refuse on the grounds that is has had enough of the ongoing Brexit uncertainty. 

That would prompt the PM to either put his deal to a second vote in the Commons or to pivot to a No Deal divorce. 

If the PM won the second vote on his deal an orderly divorce would beckon. If he lost the UK would be on course to leave the EU without an agreement. 

What happens if MPs vote in favour of the PM’s deal? 

This would be the most straight forward option from a ‘what happens next’ perspective. 

The final vote on the deal is expected to be very tight and nobody knows for certain which way it will go. 

But if the deal were to be agreed by the Commons the government could then bring forward the laws needed to enact the UK’s departure from the EU. 

The accord would then be put to the European Parliament to be ratified. Assuming MEPs did not block the deal the UK would then leave the EU with an accord on October 31. 

 

 

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