Falkirk MP urges action to ‘stop Hallowe’en no deal Brexit’

Falkirk East MP Martyn Day says urgent action is needed to head off what he fears is a looming bid to circumvent the law preventing a no deal Brexit on Hallowe’en.

Linlithgow and East Falkirk MP Martyn Day.
Linlithgow and East Falkirk MP Martyn Day.

He says former Prime Minister John Major may have provided the answer to a conundrum repeatedly asked by news commentators over the last week.

They have all enquired how the UK government can obey the law (preventing Britain leaving with a no deal Brexit on Hallowe-en) yet still leave the EU without a deal.

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Mr Day, referring to a video clip of a Commons exchange, said: “Conservative MP Philip Hollobone asks the Attorney General if the government can comply with the law and leave the EU without a deal at the end of this month, to which he replies an emphatic ‘yes’.

“This is despite MPs voting to block a No-deal Brexit, and request a Brexit extension enshrining it in law, at the start of September”.

He added: “Boris Johnson has hinted that this is his current plan, stating in Parliament on September 25 that ‘we will, of course, obey the law, and we will come out of the EU on October 31’.

“But how can he obey the law and leave the EU at the end of October, when MPs have put into law that Brexit must be stopped in those circumstances, and an extension must be put in place?”.

The BBC’s Andrew Marr has pressed Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay to reveal the PM’s “cunning plan”.

Many others, for example on news analysis TV programmes, have wrestled with the same puzzle over the last week - but Mr Day fears former Prime Minister John Major has hit on a plausible solution.

He said: “John Major has explained that Johnson might be able to bypass the anti-No Deal legislation by ‘passing an Order of Council to suspend the Act until after 31 October’.

“In short this means that Johnson could use an order of the Privy Council to suspend the Law which would prevent a No Deal Brexit at the end of the month, by suspending the law coming into effect until after the 31st of October”.

He added: “This is yet another reason why I believe that Boris Johnson must be removed from office, an extension put in place, and an election called.

“All those opposed to a no-deal Brexit must recognise this and act now”.

Meanwhile Mr Johnson has urged the EU to compromise in the effort to forge a deal which respects the particular difficulties of Irish border issues.