UK MPs to introduce legislation to stop 'no-deal' Brexit

Opposition Labour Party's Brexit spokesman says plans to block 'no deal' will require an extension to Brexit deadline.

    Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on October 31 [Niklas Halle'n/AFP]
    Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on October 31 [Niklas Halle'n/AFP]

    British parliamentarians opposed to a "no-deal" Brexit will try to pass legislation this week to prevent the United Kingdom from crashing out of the European Union without a deal next month, the opposition Labour Party's Brexit spokesman has said.

    The legislation, to be published on Tuesday, would have one "very simple" aim - to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson from allowing the UK to leave the EU without an agreement on October 31, Keir Starmer told the BBC on Sunday.

    "Obviously, if we are at the 31st of October, that will require an extension," he said.

    "But I think this should be a very short, simple exercise designed to ensure we don't crash out without a deal."

    According to the current timetable, Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on October 31 unless it formally requests for an extension to Article 50 and each of the European bloc's 27 member states agrees.

    Anti Brexit protesters from 'Stop the Coup' movement demonstrate outside Downing Street in London, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. Political opposition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parli
    People across the UK on Saturday took part in protests against Prime Minister Johnson's plans [Alastair Grant/AP]

    Parliament suspension

    Britain's Parliament has limited time to craft and pass a new law aimed at preventing a "no-deal" Brexit.

    Johnson has announced plans to suspend Parliament for part of the time before the Brexit deadline.

    Thousands of people across the UK took part in protests against Johnson's plans on Saturday.

    Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, who is in charge of "no-deal" planning, refused to commit the government to follow Parliament's lead. He said he believed a majority of MPs would back the prime minister and defeat the legislation.

    "We know the prime minister is making progress with our European friends and allies in attempting to secure a deal, and I don't believe that people will want to erect a roadblock in his way," he told the BBC.

    Johnson and his top advisers are planning to meet the legislators from his Conservative Party to try to keep them from supporting the opposition's efforts to prevent "no deal".

    Conservative MP David Gauke, a former British justice secretary and a Johnson critic, said he would meet the prime minister on Monday to hear his plan to deliver a Brexit deal he could support.

    But he said he was prepared to disobey Conservative Party discipline and lose the whip if he was not persuaded.


    "Sometimes there is a point where you have to judge between your own personal interests and the national interest, and the national interest has to come first," he told Sky News on Sunday. "But I hope it doesn't come to that."

    Johnson told the Sunday Times that those backing the opposition to "no deal" would put Brexit at risk.

    "Are you going to side with those who want to scrub the democratic verdict of the people - and plunge this country into chaos?" he said.

    "Or are you going to side with those of us who want to get on, deliver on the mandate of the people and focus with absolute, laser-like precision on the domestic agenda? That's the choice."

    SOURCE: News agencies