Tory rebels Dominic Grieve and Oliver Letwin are set to team up with Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer and seek to block a no-deal Brexit within hours of Parliament resuming this week.
A draft motion, which would give Parliament just hours to pass the law and make it difficult for MPs to table amendments, has been leaked to Buzzfeed News.
The bill could be tabled as early as Tuesday, 3 September, although it might not be debated until Wednesday.
Dominic Grieve was the Attorney General in 2014 when Parliament was prorogued for 21 days,If it wasn’t unconstitutional then why would it be unconstitutional now?https://t.co/C1sDOZ6b2I— Get Britain Out (@GetBritainOut) August 30, 2019
Mr Starmer referred to the legislation as a “simple plan."
Mr Johnson, with the support of 10 Democratic Unionist MPs from Northern Ireland, currently has a majority of only one and that is likely to evaporate if Grieve, Letwin and other Remainer Tories support the motion.
The draft motion, which reportedly contains 19 clauses, outlines a plan to move a motion at an emergency debate on Tuesday.
It would allow MPs opposed to no-deal to seize control of the parliamentary agenda from the government and pass legislation.
This is not a proper way to proceed. I expect that Parliament will respond in the only way it can: by legislating next week, before it is prorogued, to prevent a disorderly, undemocratic no deal exit on 31 October. I shall certainly be supporting that effort— Oliver Letwin (@oletwinofficial) August 28, 2019
The rebels would then seek to pass their European Union (Withdrawal) (No.6) Bill, which would require Mr Johnson to seek an extension from the European Union if he not able to agree a new deal with Brussels by mid-October.
News of the motion comes as Downing Street confirmed plans to deselect MPs who do not tow the party line.
Among those facing expulsion are former Chancellor Philip Hammond and the ex-Justice Secretary David Gauke.
Gavin Williamson tells #GMB the PM would be “right” to withdraw whip from Tory rebels who vote to block No Deal: “Anyone who is voting against the Government is voting to undermine the Prime Minister’s negotiating hand, and the nation’s position”.— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) September 2, 2019
On Monday, 2 September, Mr Gauke told the BBC: "I don't think there seems to be a huge effort to persuade people to support the government this week. They seem quite prepared for a rebellion and then to purge those who support the rebellion from the party."
The prime minister has said Britain will leave the EU on 31 October with or without a deal.
He sparked controversy last week when he asked the Queen to agree to the suspension of Parliament, known as proroguing, from next week until 14 October when a Queen's Speech will include Brexit legislation.
Before then Mr Johnson is expected to go back to Brussels with a new solution to the Irish backstop, which is the one part of Theresa May's withdrawal deal which he says is unacceptable and wants changed.
If he is unable to persuade the EU to accept his new proposal he is willing to opt for a no-deal Brexit, but several Tory MPs are planning to join the "rebel alliance" in Parliament - Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and others - to block a no-deal Brexit.