Pro-remain MPs promise cross-party work to stop Brexit
Pro-remain UK Conservative MP Dominic Grieve says a no-deal Brexit can be stopped, despite prime ministerial adviser Dominic Cummings’ comments that even losing a no-confidence vote could not stop the Halloween divorce from the European Union on October 31.
The 2016 Vote Leave chief told the Sunday Telegraph that the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, could simply call a general election for after the Brexit deadline and run down time.
Grieve, the former attorney general, said Cummings was a “master of misinformation”, adding that MPs would have 14 days after a no-confidence vote to form a new government.
“[Cummings] has a point, but he may also be missing the point,” Grieve told the BBC.
“There are a number of things which the House of Commons can do, including bringing down the government and setting up a new government in its place.”
A government of national unity could involve a cabinet made up of MPs from several parties.
Rebel Conservative MPs are also urging the head of the civil service to tell Johnson that a “caretaker government” cannot force a no-deal Brexit.
They called for Sir Mark Sedwill, the cabinet secretary, to intervene.
Catherine Haddon of the Institute for Government think-tank said Johnson would first need to resign as prime minister after losing a confidence vote, which he was not legally bound to do.
“The problem is it requires the sitting prime minister to resign and, because it is untested territory, we don’t know how that might work,” she explained.
“If you go back over history, certainly when governments have lost confidence that’s been the presumption but the other presumption has been that if they wanted to go to the people they could.
“He could say: ‘No, I’m staying as prime minister and we’re having a general election.’”
She did not address the 2011 Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which requires two-thirds of MPs to vote in favour of holding an early general election.
The opposition Labour Party’s health spokesman, Jonathan Ashworth, said no-deal Brexit plans could be stopped.
“There will be opportunities for us when parliament returns in September to stop no-deal,” the MP told Sky.
He said Labour, which is currently led by the leftist Jeremy Corbyn who blocks inter-party cooperation, would work “across the parties, because we know there are plenty of Tory MPs who want to block no-deal”.
Boris Johnson can be expected to attempt to provide distractions from the Brexit crisis before October. Picture credit: Eurasia Times