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Johnson to use first Saturday parliament in 40 years to ask MPs to pass any Brexit deal he gets

The Gazette Staff

Boris Johnson will give MPs a chance to back any Brexit deal he gets or push for a delay on ‘Super Saturday’ – just 24 hours after a crunch EU Summit.

The Prime Minister is drawing up plans to table a vote on his agreement when Parliament sits on a Saturday for the first time in 40 years.

The sitting would be the first Saturday session since the start of the Falklands War in 1982 and just the fourth in 80 years.

It would also fall on the same day thousands of people plan to march on Westminster for an anti-Brexit rally organised by the People’s Vote campaign.

Parliament would run around the clock for seven days a week if the vote is passed as Mr Johnson tries to force a deal through both Houses before deadline day on October 31.

He will table a single motion on Saturday, according to the Times, which will incorporate a vote on his deal and the terms of the Benn Act that currently stops Britain from leaving the EU without a deal.

A source told newspaper: ‘It’s decision time for MPs. They can either back the deal or back a Brexit delay. It will be a binary choice.’

The Prime Minister is expected to table a vote on his agreement when Parliament sits on a Saturday for the first time in 40 years

The Prime Minister is expected to table a vote on his agreement when Parliament sits on a Saturday for the first time in 40 years

The Prime Minister is expected to table a vote on his agreement when Parliament sits on a Saturday for the first time in 40 years

The sitting (file image) would be the first Saturday session since the start of the Falklands War in 1982 and just the fourth in 80 years. Parliament would run around the clock for seven days a week if the vote is passed as Mr Johnson tries to force a deal through both Houses before deadline day on October 31

The sitting (file image) would be the first Saturday session since the start of the Falklands War in 1982 and just the fourth in 80 years. Parliament would run around the clock for seven days a week if the vote is passed as Mr Johnson tries to force a deal through both Houses before deadline day on October 31

The sitting (file image) would be the first Saturday session since the start of the Falklands War in 1982 and just the fourth in 80 years. Parliament would run around the clock for seven days a week if the vote is passed as Mr Johnson tries to force a deal through both Houses before deadline day on October 31

What happens next in the Brexit crisis?

Sunday: Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron are due to meet in France. The dinner will be a key waypointer to whether a deal will be possible next week. 

Monday: Parliament is due to return for the Queen’s Speech. 

In Brussels, the EU will ‘take stock’ with Mr Barnier over whether the legal text meets their criteria and can be put before leaders for approval. 

October 17-18: A crunch EU summit in Brussels. Any deal could be signed off by leaders here. If the talks have broken down, expect Boris Johnson to either boycott the event, or stage a dramatic walkout.

October 19: Parliament will sit on Saturday for the first time since the Falklands War. 

If there is no Brexit deal by this date Remainer legislation obliges the PM to beg the EU for an extension to avoid No Deal. Mr Johnson is likely to force a vote to make MPs ‘own’ any delay, having said he would rather ‘die in a ditch’ than accept one.

If there is a deal in place, there will be a make-or-break vote on whether to back it. If passed by the Commons, the government will start rushing legislation through Parliament immediately.  

Monday: Jeremy Corbyn has said that he will let Mr Johnson trigger an election after an extension has been secured. 

This would probably be the first day when a motion can be brought to a vote under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, or a confidence vote can be held.

October 31: The current deadline for the UK to leave the EU, which Mr Johnson has previously described as ‘do or die’. 

Thursday, November 28: An election looks inevitable whichever way the Brexit drama goes. 

Legally there must be 25 working days between Parliament being dissolved and the election date.

This looks to be the most likely date for a poll, given they are traditionally held on Thursdays.  

But his plans could be thwarted as Remain MPs look to call a vote on a second referendum and a vote on any secured deal.

This could lead to a rebellion by Brexit-backing Labour MPs and shadow ministers.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to budge under pressure from his shadow cabinet to have a second referendum vote before a general election.

One of the two Labour MPs trying to get a confirmatory vote, Peter Kyle, said: ‘It’s crunch time, we are well and truly into the end game. 

‘The country needs this resolved and parliament is determined to give this the resolution that the country expects. We will seek to attach a confirmatory ballot to any deal he brings to the Commons.’

He said he believes his party, its members and the front bench want to end ‘this Brexit nightmare’.

Labour MP Hilary Benn, who sponsored the Brexit extension act carrying his name, signalled October 19 could be a suitable date for a vote on a second referendum.

He told Newsnight on Thursday: ‘If parliament is going to be meeting we have shown our capacity as parliamentarians to take control of the order paper, so we won’t be meeting just to sit and see what the prime minister has in store for us.

‘This is an opportunity — if we can get a majority, and that is a big if — for parliament to say we can find a way forward, a confirmatory referendum is the way to do it, let’s go and ask the British people finally to take the decision.’

The Benn Act marks October 19 as the day Mr Johnson has to ask for a third Brexit delay if he cannot secure a deal.

Brussels gave the green light yesterday for a weekend of intense negotiations aimed at hammering out an agreement ahead of the crunch summit on Thursday.

They have agreed that talks can go into ‘the tunnel’ – an intensive, secret phase of discussions where the teams have settled the main issues in principle and are trying to thrash out a joint legal text.

But MPs are understood to have been told they will be back in Parliament whether the PM gets a deal or not.

Before the Falklands fiasco, Parliament sat on a Saturday during the Suez Crisis under Anthony Eden in November 1956.

In July 1949 it convened on a Saturday to finalise business before summer and in MPs sat in September 1939 on the day before Britain went to war with Nazi Germany.

Source : Mail Online

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