How would any future ‘meaningful vote’ on the PM’s Brexit deal work? Opposition MPs are likely to put forward amendments to any government motion to approve Johnson’s Brexit deal, and Bercow has suggested “manuscript” amendments submitted on the day itself could be accepted. Opposition MPs have indicated they would seek to amend the deal to
How would any future ‘meaningful vote’ on the PM’s Brexit deal work?
Opposition MPs are likely to put forward amendments to any government motion to approve Johnson’s Brexit deal, and Bercow has suggested “manuscript” amendments submitted on the day itself could be accepted.
Opposition MPs have indicated they would seek to amend the deal to try to “shape” Brexit. This is likely to include trying to hold a second EU referendum, securing a future customs union or inserting safeguards on workers’ rights and environmental protections.
Losing another meaningful vote on the deal could lead to the PM facing an opposition motion of no confidence, paving the way for a general election and further clouding the precise future of the Brexit process.
Has Johnson sent a letter to Brussels seeking a Brexit delay?
Under the terms of the so-called Benn act, which was passed against the PM’s wishes, Johnson was compelled to write to the EU asking for a three-month Brexit extension if he had not secured a deal by 11pm UK time on 19 October. He told the Commons on Saturday: “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU, and neither does the law compel me to do so.”
But he did eventually send two letters to the European council president, Donald Tusk. There was an unsigned photocopy of the request he was obliged to send under the Benn act, followed by a letter explaining why the government did not actually want an extension. There was also an explanatory letter from Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, which was sent to Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, the secretary general of the Council of the European Union.
Will the EU agree to an extension?
Despite the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, raising doubts over the likelihood of another Brexit delay, that decision needs to be taken by all 27 remaining EU states. The EU could set a different length to an extension, either shorter or longer than the three-month one cited in the Benn act.
The EU could decide not to formally respond to the PM’s letter until it sees if Johnson can get the withdrawal agreement bill through parliament this week. If the PM gets the cill through, there could be a special gathering of EU leaders on 28 October.
If the deal needs more time at that stage to get through parliament, leaders could agree to a short “technical” extension.