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‘We have the numbers’ to get deal through, PM claims

“The Prime Minister is planning late-night sittings in the Commons and a special weekend session in the Lords as he attempts to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. Usually it takes weeks for pieces of legislation to go through all their stages in the Commons and the Lords but ministers are desperate to get the deal into law ahead of a planned EU summit next Monday on whether to have another Brexit delay. In a boost for Mr Johnson’s plans, it was claimed last night that 15 Labour MPs were ready to back the deal on Saturday – enough to give the Prime Minister a Commons majority – before plans for a yes-or-no vote were postponed. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday said the Government was confident that it could now get Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal through Parliament. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said the Prime Minister had managed to negotiate ‘a deal that can pass through the House of Commons’. He added: ‘We seem to have the numbers in the House of Commons. A lot of people say ‘get this done and move on’.’ Downing Street last night said it was determined to get the Bill through so it could rescind the letter that Parliament forced the Prime Minister to send to Brussels asking for a Brexit extension.” – Daily Mail

  • Johnson believes he has numbers to get deal passed this week – The Times
  • He is to make Brexit push on Monday – FT
  • But he faces fight to avoid ‘Groundhog Week’ – The Sun
  • And his plan is on a knife-edge – The Guardian
  • As he faces ‘guerrilla war’ in Commons over new vote – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour seeks new alliance to kill off deal – The Guardian
  • And Labour will order MPs to back second referendum amendment – Daily Telegraph
  • No 10 accuses Labour of trying to stop Brexit – The Times
  • DUP threatens to unite with Labour to back customs amendment – Daily Telegraph
  • But DUP willing to back deal if changes made – Belfast Telegraph
  • EU leaders react with frustration to delay – FT
  • As France demands prompt ‘yes or no’ – Daily Telegraph
  • And EU considers ‘flextension’ – Daily Mail
  • Letwin faces backlash from own constituency – The Sun
  • Pound falls as traders react to latest Brexit delay – The Times
  • People’s Vote campaign hit by internal power struggle – Daily Telegraph
Comment
>Today:
>Yesterday:

……..But Bercow could block vote on deal

Mr Johnson wants to try to force another ‘meaningful vote’ on his Brexit deal after his first attempt was scuppered yesterday. But the Commons Speaker is considering whether the vote should be allowed to go ahead amid growing speculation he will block the Prime Minister. Parliamentary rules dictate that MPs are not supposed to vote on the same motion more than once. Mr Bercow could argue that Mr Johnson blew his chance to vote on his Brexit deal after he failed to secure the support of MPs on ‘Super Saturday’. The government is likely to argue that because MPs hijacked the motion and amended it to force the PM to ask the EU for a Brexit delay they never actually voted on Mr Johnson’s original proposals. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, signalled the government’s intention to bring forward another ‘meaningful vote’ tomorrow when he addressed MPs at the close of proceedings. But Mr Bercow said he would have to rule on whether the vote could go ahead. Ministers will be nervous because Mr Bercow has previously ruled that MPs cannot hold repeated votes on the same question. Citing a precedent dating back to 1604, he ruled in March this year that then-PM Theresa May could not bring the same Brexit divorce deal back to Parliament for another vote unless she made changes to it. The ruling enraged Conservative MPs who accused him of sparking a ‘constitutional crisis’ and of deliberately obstructing Brexit progress. Those accusations are likely to be made against the Commons Speaker again should he prevent a ‘meaningful vote’ from taking place.” – Daily Mail

  • Speaker holds fate of 31 October exit in his hands – Daily Express
Comment
>Yesterday:

And Remain lawyers launch court action

“Boris Johnson could be in contempt of court after he urged EU leaders to ignore a letter asking for an extension to the Brexit deadline, say Remain lawyers behind a legal action in court on Monday. Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway, and two other judges will hear allegations that the Prime Minister may have broken a promise that he made to the court that he would not try to thwart the request for an extension by sending multiple letters. The Government’s lawyers pledged in writing and in court earlier this month that the Prime Minister would honour the provisions of the Benn Act, seeking an extension to article 50 if he failed to get a Brexit deal passed by October 19. However, on Saturday Mr Johnson sent three different letters to EU leaders, one unsigned seeking an extension, a second a covering note from a civil servant explaining the first was to comply with the law and a third urging EU leaders to ignore Parliament’s request for more time. Jolyon Maugham, a barrister party to the anti-Brexit legal action, said the Benn Act was explicit in obliging Mr Johnson to send a letter securing an extension. “We say that anything the Prime Minister does in breach of that or intended to thwart that is unlawful.” – Daily Telegraph

As Gove implements Yellowhammer No Deal plan

“Mr Gove, who is in charge of the preparations, said that the risk of Britain leaving the EU without a deal had risen after MPs forced the government to ask Brussels for another delay. Today he will update MPs on the progress of Yellowhammer plans. The government is expected to increase advertising to encourage the public and businesses to prepare for a no-deal departure. Civil servants will be sent to operations centres around the country and an operations room will be set up in the Cabinet Office in Whitehall to co-ordinate preparations. The move will be seen as part of an attempt to increase pressure on MPs to back Boris Johnson’s deal. The prime minister insists that the UK will leave on October 31 and will present the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill to parliament today. Mr Gove said that the passing of the Letwin amendment on Saturday, which forced Mr Johnson to ask for an extension from the EU, increased the chances of a no-deal Brexit because the request could be rejected. Supporters of the amendment say that it provides an “insurance policy” against no-deal.” – The Times

>Yesterday:

Vine says her children were frightened by abuse of husband

“Sarah Vine said that she sympathised with Jacob Rees-Mogg’s 12-year-old son, who left parliament on Saturday with his father flanked by a dozen police officers. “For the son it must have been a frightening experience to be surrounded by that,” Ms Vine told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One. “I have children as well. Occasionally we do get aggression in the street and it’s quite scary for them. Mr Rees-Mogg should be able to take his son to parliament if he wants to and it should be OK for him to come out without being shouted at.” As well as Mr Rees-Mogg, other MPs who received police escorts on Saturday included Mr Gove, Diane Abbott and Andrea Leadsom. Ms Vine, a columnist for the Daily Mail, added: “The thing about politicians is no one really feels any sympathy for them and to a certain extent you have to suck it up. This is just what happens if you are in politics in Britain today. The police were amazing.” – The Times

Leadsom: Hostility in public life is alarming

“I came into politics to make the world a better place. My ambition wasn’t just to pursue high office or to win at all costs. It was to maintain, throughout my time in parliament, the same set of values as when I arrived. This guiding principle reminds me to avoid unnecessary impatience with my colleagues, not least after a late or difficult night in the Commons. It serves as a motivation to treat everyone with dignity and respect — no matter how our opinions may differ. Unfortunately, on Saturday afternoon, colleagues from all parties were subjected to frightening behaviour from some protesters. None of us are looking for sympathy, and none of us would deny the right of those same people to protest. However, the protesters’ behaviour surpassed what most would consider to be peaceful, dignified or respectful. Behaviour like that should cause us all concern, whatever side of the debate you take. The right to peaceful protest and expression of opinion are essential civil rights.” – The Times Red Box

>Today:
News in Brief

5 comments for: Newslinks for Monday 21st October 2019

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