Brexit: critical day for Boris Johnson as no-deal bill awaits royal assent – live news

PM to meet Irish counterpart to discuss backstop before returning to London for another attempt to force October election. Follow the latest news and developments 9.07am BST When Boris Johnson was deciding whether to back remain or leave in...

Brexit: critical day for Boris Johnson as no-deal bill awaits royal assent – live news

PM to meet Irish counterpart to discuss backstop before returning to London for another attempt to force October election. Follow the latest news and developments

When Boris Johnson was deciding whether to back remain or leave in the EU referendum in 2016, he famously wrote two versions of his column for the Telegraph, one making the case for remain and one making the case for leave, before finally making his mind up - and publishing the leave one. In other circumstances, and for other individuals, that might be seen as a reasonable approach to taking a difficult decision. But because of Johnson’s long record of inconsistency, the story has come to be seen as emblematic of his duplicity.

As referred to earlier, according to today’s Daily Telegraph splash (paywall), Johnson is considering a new version of the ‘two letters strategy’ to try to confound the law passed by parliament requiring him to request an article 50 extension if he has failed to agree a Brexit deal by 19 October, and if MPs have not voted to agree no deal (which they won’t). Here is an extract from Owen Bennett and Harry Yorke’s story.

Boris Johnson has drawn up plans to “sabotage” any Brexit extension without breaking the law, the Telegraph has learnt ...

One plan under serious consideration would see the prime minister send an accompanying letter alongside the request to extend Article 50 setting out that the Government does not want any delay after Oct 31.

No, of course it wouldn’t. The bill, or act as it’s about to become, says that he’s got to apply for an extension. Not only has he got to send the letter, he’s got to apply for an extension.

To send the letter and then try to neutralise it seems to me, plainly, a breach of the Act.

“One plan would see PM send accompanying letter alongside request to extend Article 50 setting out Government does not want any delay after Oct 31.” DTel, tonight. Statutory Purpose of request letter is to get extension. To seek to destroy statutory purpose is to break law.

I don’t always agree with Jonathan Sumption but he’s absolutely right that attempting to circumvent the Benn Bill by sending a contradictory side letter would be unlawful as the Bill requires that the Govt “seek to obtain... an extension” https://t.co/NqNLsOTsGA pic.twitter.com/rBytxBuPuF

And side letter would be contrary to the purpose of the Bill and therefore unlawful. The point is that the govt would not be complying with the Bill.

From the Irish Times’ Pat Leahy

Taoiseach arrives at govt buildings for meeting with Boris Johnson shortly pic.twitter.com/TnhXNpadnM

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