Labour joins calls for MPs to cut short summer break to tackle no-deal Brexit

Posted On: 
19th August 2019

Labour has backed calls for MPs to cut short the summer recess and head back to Parliament to work on blocking a no-deal Brexit.

John McDonnell said MPs should cut short their holidays and return to Westminster
Credit: 
PA Images

John McDonnell said he wants to see the House of Commons reconvened "in the next few days".

It comes after more than 100 MPs wrote to Boris Johnson urging him to recall Parliament because the country is facing “a national emergency”.

Michael Gove says no-deal will cause 'bumps in the road' as No10 blasts Whitehall leak

Minister dismisses Government’s own Brexit no-deal warnings as 'scaremongering'

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Asked on BBC Radio 4's Today programme if he agreed, the Shadow Chancellor said: “I think it is a good initiative by this group of MPs to say that we need to get back into Parliament.

“We are facing a critical issue here and should be debating it in Parliament."

Mr McDonnell added: "There is a need now to bring MPs back together again because we need time now to really have a proper debate and discussion about this matter."

The letter, signed by members of every political party in the House of Commons excluding the DUP, throws down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister by saying a “true democrat should not fear such scrutiny".

They add: “The question is whether you are one.”

The Commons is not due to return from summer recess until 3 September, and can only be recalled at the behest of the Government.

But it has been brought back on a number of occasions in the past, including the Suez crisis in 1956, the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982 and the 2011 UK-wide riots.

The MPs said the “country is on the brink of an economic crisis”, after leaked government documents revealed the problems a no-deal Brexit could cause.

The 'Operation Yellowhammer' dossier said Britain would face shortages of food, fuel and medicine as well as a hard border with Ireland if it leaves the European Union without an agreement in place on October 31.

But Michael Gove suggested the documents, obtained by The Sunday Times, were outdated and spelled out only "the very, very worst situation".

The Cabinet Office minister, who is heading up no-deal preparations for the Government did however admit a no-deal will cause "bumps in the road".

Meanwhile Downing Street accused disgruntled former ministers of "deliberately leaking" the Whitehall plans, with fingers pointed at ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond, something he has denied.