Published On: Tue, Sep 10th, 2019

Brexit latest: EU WILL grant Britain an extension despite tough talk | Politics | News

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Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told POLITICO he “doesn’t want to close the door on London”, after the House of Commons voted to force Boris Johnson to seek a delay until the end of January if he can’t get a deal approved by October 19. He said: “If there’s reason for a delay I’ll accept, but I still have no reason, I still have no clue what they want.” Insiders say the bizarre situation is such that the EU will be forced to grant an extension it doesn’t want to a British Government which also does not want it.

Mr Bettel added: “It’s not on me to say that they have to do this and this to get a new delay, they have to tell us why they need a new delay, and then I’ll exchange views with my colleagues” in the European Council.

“A no-deal Brexit is “the scenario I don’t want, but time is ticking.

His words come after Parliament’s suspension began this morning at 2am.

As Speaker John Bercow, who announced his resignation yesterday, was due to lead MPs in a procession to the House of Lords to mark the suspension, a group of angry opposition backbenchers appeared to try to block his way.

He said the suspension represented “an act of executive fiat” – a legal decison that has abslute sanction.

MPs protested against the suspension with signs saying “silenced” while shouting: “Shame on you.”

Mr Johnson’s second bid to call a snap election was also voted down.

Labour could table a confidence vote 24 hours after the Commons holds a series of votes on the Government’s legislative programme.

The party had previously said that a confidence vote could be tabled later this week, but they will be unable to do this now as Parliament has been shut down. 

The Queen is due to reopen Parliament with the speech on October 14, so the confidence vote would most likely take place after votes are held between October 21 to 22.

Mr Corbyn will address the Trades Union Congress annual conference on Tuesday, where he will confirm that Labour is planning to force an election on its own terms. 

He is expected to say that after ruling out a no-deal Brexit, Labour is now planning “to trigger a general election”.

He will say: “So a general election is coming. But we won’t allow Johnson to dictate the terms. 

“And I can tell you this: we’re ready for that election. We’re ready to unleash the biggest people-powered campaign we’ve ever seen.”

A Labour source told the Telegraph: “If he [Mr Johnson] loses the Queen’s speech you still have to have the confidence vote. The question is whether those Tory rebels will vote with us.”


7.40am update: Theresa May’s honours list faces backlash – ‘no shame’

Theresa May’s resignation honours list has drawn strong criticism from some quarters, with critics rounding on her choice to reward civil servants who worked on her failed Brexit strategies, and others targeting the knighthood of former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott.

“No shame,” screamed the front page of the left-leaning Daily Mirror newspaper.

“As Parliament is suspended over Brexit crisis, Theresa May has the audacity to reward the bungling advisers who got us in this mess.”

The paper referred to honours including the knighthood given to Olly Robbins, Mrs May’s chief Brexit negotiator, and the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) awards bestowed on her former joint chiefs of staff Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, the so-called “terror twins” of her Brexit saga, and to Julian Smith.

“As Chief Whip he (Smith) failed to persuade enough Tories to back the Withdrawal Agreement, thus triggering two Brexit delays and plunging nation into current crisis,” the paper said.

Scottish MP Pete Wishart labelled the honours list “a disgrace”.

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