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Sat, 31 October 2020

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Boris Johnson set for clash with John Bercow as he tries to bring back vote on Brexit deal

Boris Johnson set for clash with John Bercow as he tries to bring back vote on Brexit deal
2 min read

Boris Johnson will try to give MPs another chance to pass their verdict on his Brexit deal on Monday - teeing up a fresh Commons clash with John Bercow.


The Government wants to hold a meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement the Prime Minister struck with Brussels last week.

But the Speaker could block the request after MPs on Saturday passed the Letwin amendment, meaning Brexit cannot happen until all of the necessary legislation is passed.

Meanwhile, ministers will also introduce the Withdrawal Agreement Bill as it continues its attempts to take the UK out of the EU by 31 October.

Whitehall officials said there will be "long hours" in the Commons and potentially weekend sitting for the House of Lords in order to get the legislation passed in time.

Mr Johnson met the terms of the Benn Act blocking no deal on Saturday night by sending a letter to the European Union requesting a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline.

It included a cover note from Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's representative in Brussels, explaining the request had been made only to comply with an order from Parliament.

The PM also sent a second letter urging EU leaders to dismiss the request, saying it would "damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners".

A Number10 source said: "We cannot allow Parliament’s letter to lead to Parliament’s delay - we must leave on 31 October and finally get Brexit done. The best way of doing this is for MPs to vote for Boris’s new deal."

A government source added: "The public will expect us to move at pace to get the Withdrawal Agreement passed so we can leave on 31 October. There will be time for Parliament to consider the legislation and any amendments.

"The Government gave notice of presentation of the bill on Saturday and today it will be published and receive its first reading."

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