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Downing Street says Sir John Major's no-deal Brexit claims are 'total cobblers'

Downing Street says Sir John Major's no-deal Brexit claims are 'total cobblers'
2 min read

Sir John Major's suggestion that Boris Johnson could use an arcane political manoeuver to deliver a no-deal Brexit is "total cobblers", Number 10 has claimed.

The former Prime Minister said Mr Johnson could use a so-called "Order of Council" to avoid implementing a law aimed at blocking no-deal until after 31 October.

In a speech on Thursday, he said: "It is important to note that an Order of Council can be passed by Privy Councillors – that is government ministers – without involving HM The Queen.

"I should warn the Prime Minister that – if this route is taken – it will be in flagrant defiance of Parliament and utterly disrespectful to the Supreme Court.

"It would be a piece of political chicanery that no-one should ever forgive or forget."

But a senior Downing Street source insisted that was not on the cards.

"It's absolute nonsense," the source said. "I've absolutely no idea where he's got it from. It is total cobblers. We will not use it."

Under the law passed by Parliament earlier this month, the Government has until 19 October to pass a Brexit deal or the Prime Minister will have to request a three-month extension.

The PM has repeatedly insisted he will not break the law, but will take the UK out of the EU on 31 October "do or die".

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: "We have been making progress but there is a significant amount of work still to do and the PM is focused on trying to get a deal ahead of the European Council on 17 October."

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