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Cross-party group to force vote on ‘shutting down government’ in bid to halt no-deal Brexit

2 min read

MPs have threatened to shut down the Government if the next Prime Minister tries to ignore Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.

The cross-party move would prevent Theresa May’s successor from crashing out of the European Union on 31 October if Parliament opposes it.

It comes days after Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the leadership race, said that “do or die”, he would ensure the UK left the bloc by the deadline.

Mr Johnson has also refused to rule out suspending Parliament - known as prorogation - in order to prevent MPs from blocking the UK's exit.

Under parliamentary rules, MPs must back all government expenditure twice a year.

But an amendment put forward by Tory MP Dominic Grieve and Labour grandee Dame Margaret Beckett could cut off government spending in areas such as schools, welfare benefits and international aid - effectively shutting the Government down.

Labour is expected to back the move when it is put to a vote in the Commons on Tuesday.

A source who is involved in the move told The Times that the move was a “simple matter of whether the Government wanted any money or not”.

But in an online Tory leadership hustings, Mr Johnson insisted a no-deal Brexit was a remote prospect.

He said: "It is absolutely vital that we prepare for a no-deal Brexit if we are going to get a deal. But I don’t think that is where we are going to end up - I think it is a million-to-one against - but it is vital that we prepare.”


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