What IS happening with Brexit? What will Boris Johnson do TODAY?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he will seek to trigger a snap general election after losing a crunch Brexit vote last night.

But will the Commons be able to stop a No Deal exit? And will there be a general election? 

A cross-party group succeeded in their bid to seize control of Commons business on Tuesday night, guaranteeing time to debate a new law to block No Deal.

Twenty-one Tory rebels were among 328 MPs who voted for the motion, which won by a majority of 27.

What happens today after Boris Johnson lost control of the Commons?

Legislation put forward by the cross-party group will be debated today. It would require a delay to Brexit unless there was a deal or Parliament explicitly backed leaving the EU without one by October 19.

The snappily-titled European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill 2019 is backed by former Cabinet minsters Philip Hammond and David Gauke, a sign of how the rebel ranks have been bolstered following the change in PM.

Under the terms of the Bill, the Government must ask the EU for a delay to Brexit until January 31, 2020 if no agreement has been reached and MPs have not agreed to a no-deal exit.

If the European Council proposes an extension to a different date then the PM must accept that extension within two days, unless the House of Commons rejects it.

A diagram showing what could happen in a dramatic week in Westminster as rebel and opposition MPs begin their effort to prevent a No Deal Brexit

What will happen then?

For the Bill to become law, it must clear all stages in the Commons before heading to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

The process usually takes weeks, but it could be hurried through in as little as three days to be passed before Parliament is prorogued next week (sometime between September 9 to 12).

However this will not be straightforward: MPs could defeat the Bill, or peers could attempt to block its passage by talking it out, so-called filibustering. 

Will there be an election?

Mr Johnson said he would seek to trigger a snap general election after losing the vote.

The motion would require the support of two-thirds of MPs under the provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (FTPA), but Labour indicated that they would not support the move until chances of a no-deal Brexit were taken off the table.

If the motion is tabled, it is likely this will be debated today.

While Labour’s refusal to back it would limit the likelihood of Mr Johnson’s motion succeeding, other avenues remain open to the PM to push for a poll – including triggering a confidence motion in his own Government.

What happens if the Prime Minister succeeds in calling an election?

If the election motion is successful, the PM then advises the Queen on the date.

There would usually be a short sitting period – a few days – to finalise outstanding legislation (known as the ‘wash up’) before dissolution. 

Parliament dissolves 25 working days before an election date and campaigning would then begin for Britain’s third general election in four-and-a-half years.

When would we go to the polls? 

Downing Street has indicated that the poll would take place on Monday, October 14, which would end an 84-year tradition of holding British general elections on Thursdays.

However, government sources revealed last night that the following day, Tuesday, October 15, might be better to avoid a clash with a key Jewish holiday.

The first day of Succot would prevent observant Jews from voting on this day because writing is prohibited. Although they still could have voted by post or proxy.  

Boris Johnson (pictured) has promised to take Britain out by October 31 but suffered a blow last night as MPs will now have a chance to debate a Bill to block No Deal

Boris Johnson (pictured) has promised to take Britain out by October 31 but suffered a blow last night as MPs will now have a chance to debate a Bill to block No Deal

Boris Johnson (pictured) has promised to take Britain out by October 31 but suffered a blow last night as MPs will now have a chance to debate a Bill to block No Deal

What happens if Jeremy Corbyn blocks an election?

Mr Johnson would need a two-thirds majority to force an early election. That means Labour could thwart him by withholding support for the motion until their demands are met. 

Labour could also try and find a parliamentary mechanism to make blocking No Deal a condition of an election, although the FTPA demands a particular wording. 

However, blocking an election might be seen as an embarrassment for Mr Corbyn who has spent much of the last year demanding one. 

In addition, the PM might be able to get around the ploy and call an election anyway by tabling new legislation, which would only need a simple majority. 

As the FTPA has only been in place since 2011 there is little precedent for any of this.  

If Mr Corbyn blocks an election, the Bill to block No Deal will continue its progress through Parliament, at least until it is suspended next week. 

Does an election mean prorogation is wiped out? 

Yes. If an election is called, the current Parliament would be dissolved entirely and replaced by a new one, not just suspended for five weeks. Prorogation would become irrelevant. 

Will Boris Johnson still suspend Parliament?

If no election is called, yes. Parliament could be prorogued as early as Monday, based on the royal proclamation issued last month.  

If the rebel legislation has not been passed by the time of prorogation, it is automatically wiped out.

Parliament will not sit again until October 14, after the party conferences.

What happens if Jeremy Corbyn (pictured at the dispatch box) blocks an election? Mr Johnson would need a two-thirds majority to force an early election. That means Labour could thwart him by withholding support for the motion until their demands are met.

What happens if Jeremy Corbyn (pictured at the dispatch box) blocks an election? Mr Johnson would need a two-thirds majority to force an early election. That means Labour could thwart him by withholding support for the motion until their demands are met.

What happens if Jeremy Corbyn (pictured at the dispatch box) blocks an election? Mr Johnson would need a two-thirds majority to force an early election. That means Labour could thwart him by withholding support for the motion until their demands are met. 

Are there other ways the PM’s plans to prorogue could be thwarted?

The PM faces threats from many angles, with legal challenges coming in courts across the UK.

A cross-party group of MPs and peers who want to block Parliament’s suspension had a hearing of their application in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the High Court will consider a judicial review request from Gina Miller, the businesswoman who successfully challenged the Government over the triggering of the Article 50 process to start the Brexit countdown. She, too, wants to challenge Mr Johnson’s suspension of Parliament.

And in Belfast, a judicial review against the Government by a campaigner arguing that no-deal could jeopardise the Northern Ireland peace process is scheduled for September 16. 

Can Remainers ask the Queen not to suspend Parliament?

No. She has already approved it as she was bound to by the constitution. 

She exercised her royal powers on the advice of her democratically accountable ministers, as is her role in Britain’s constitutional monarchy. 

What happens after Parliament is suspended?

If Parliament is suspended next week as planned, rebel MPs cannot advance their plot any further for five weeks. 

If their Bill has failed or is still pending, it will ‘die’ and have to be started again after the prorogation. 

In the meantime, Mr Johnson will push for a deal from fellow European leaders in the hope of removing the backstop from the withdrawal deal negotiated by Theresa May. 

MPs will then reconvene on October 14. First there will be a Queen’s Speech and ceremonial State Opening of Parliament. 

Rebel MPs could make a second attempt to force a delay but their time would be extremely limited and there would be no more time to schedule an election before October 31.    

Britain could go to the polls in mid-October in a crucial general election which could either allow the government to move forward with Brexit or delay proceedings even further (pro-Remain demonstrators on College Green yesterday)

Britain could go to the polls in mid-October in a crucial general election which could either allow the government to move forward with Brexit or delay proceedings even further (pro-Remain demonstrators on College Green yesterday)

Britain could go to the polls in mid-October in a crucial general election which could either allow the government to move forward with Brexit or delay proceedings even further (pro-Remain demonstrators on College Green yesterday)

Could there be a vote of no confidence?

Jeremy Corbyn has tried a no-confidence vote once already this year, when Theresa May was still PM. Mrs May won the vote by 325 to 306. 

He appeared to put his plans for another vote on the back burner last week when he agreed to work with other opposition MPs to pass No Deal legislation. 

Can the Queen refuse to allow an election? 

No. If Parliament has voted for an election – which means two-thirds of MPs will have found something to agree on – then the Queen has no constitutional authority to stand in their way. 

When will Britain leave the EU if there is no election and Remainers fail to block No Deal?

On October 31, Mr Johnson insists. If there is no election or legislation to stop him, he hopes to deliver on his repeated promises to get Britain out without a further delay. 

The PM says that Britain will leave on October 31 with or without a deal with Brussels.  

He could then seek an election at that point, to cash in on having delivered Brexit and try to win a stable majority. However, potential chaos resulting from No Deal might affect his government’s popularity. 

If there is an election before October 31, when will Britain leave the EU? 

That will depend on the election result. If Mr Johnson returns to Downing Street, especially if he wins a majority, he will see it as a public mandate to deliver Brexit on October 31 as he keeps promising to do. 

If Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM, he is likely to ask for a further delay to Brexit and make his own attempt to renegotiate with Brussels. 

He has also indicated that Labour will support a ‘public vote’ or second referendum on Brexit. This could be held next year. 

link

(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply