Justice Secretary Robert Buckland warns Boris Johnson about following ‘rule of law’ over no-deal bill
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has warned Boris Johnson against resisting a law that forces him to seek a further Brexit extension to avoid Britain leaving without a deal.
It comes after the Prime Minister suggested he was not prepared to ask Brussels for more time beyond 31 October to reach a deal, despite MPs and peers backing the legislation which required it last week.
The minister played down reports he was on the verge of quitting the Cabinet over the issue, but said he had stressed “the importance of the Rule of Law” with Mr Johnson.
In a tweet, Mr Buckland, said: “Speculation about my future is wide of the mark. I fully support the Prime Minister and will continue to serve in his Cabinet.
“We have spoken over the past 24 hours regarding the importance of the Rule of Law, which I as Lord Chancellor have taken an oath to uphold.”
The statement will be a relief for Number 10, who had feared further resignations after Amber Rudd left with a stinging blast at the PM’s "assault on decency and democracy" by sacking 21 Tory MPs who backed the legislation.
The former Work and Pensions Secretary also accused Mr Johnson guilty of "political vandalism" and claimed Downing Street was now pursuing no-deal as official government policy.
Meanwhile Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested the Government would “test” the legislation before implementing it.
He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "We're always going to behave lawfully as a Government, of course you'd expect that, and anyway it will be challenged in the courts, but what we are going to do with that legislation is test very carefully what it does and doesn't require, and that's not only the lawful thing to do, I think it's the responsible thing to do.”
Elsewhere Chancellor Sajid Javid said ministers would obey the law but “absolutely will not” ask the EU to extend the date of Brexit, as it sets out.
“Of course this government will obey the law. We are going to continue to work towards exit on 31 October. We will leave on 31 October," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
“We will be consistent with obeying the law but also sticking to our policy, and you will have to wait and see what happens because there is a lot of days between now and 19 October.”
Shadow Attorney-General Baroness Chakrabarti later added: “The idea there’s one law for Boris Johnson and his mates and there’s one law for everyone else, it’s appalling.”
The Labour peer continued: “Every tinpot dictator on the planet throughout history has used the excuse of having the people on their side to break the law.”