Boris Johnson has issued a final rallying call to MPs to back his EU Withdrawal Agreement as rebels plot an amendment that could push Brexit back until the new year to avoid an accidental no-deal. This is the first sitting that the House of Commons is holding since 1982.
After clinching a last-minute deal in Brussels on Thursday by agreeing to a customs border in the Irish Sea, the prime minister had hoped to frame the rare Saturday sitting of parliament as a dramatic “new deal or no deal” moment.
According to the The Telegraph, 320 MPs are on board for the deal, with 312 against.
But Johnson faces a last-minute attempt by Tory rebels and Labour to downgrade the status of the vote and force him to request a Brexit extension even if the deal passes.
Here’s today’s agenda:
- The European Research Group of Brexiteer Conservative MPs will meet at 8.30am in the Commons
- The House of Commons will begin sitting at 9.30am, and the Lords at 11am
- Boris Johnson will give a statement to MPs from about 9.40am, and this may be followed by questions
- A government minister will move the motion allowing MPs to vote on the deal, Speaker John Bercow will announce amendments, and a debate will begin
- Amendments will be voted on first, followed by the motion itself – and this could be during the afternoon.
(all times are local time).
Meanwhile the British newspapers present today’s importance on their front-pages as follows.
Despite positive reactions from Bank of England governor Mark Carney and declarations of support from several Labour MPs, Johnson’s plans were rocked on Friday by a cross-party group led by Oliver Letwin and Hilary Benn.
The government has been holding discussions with some Labour MPs in an attempt to get the 320 votes needed, and the prime minister has urged colleagues to back the deal and free the country “from the never-ending Brexit saga”.
Writing in The Sun, Mr Johnson insisted his agreement was a “great deal for every part of our country” and an opportunity to bring to an end a “difficult, divisive, painful chapter in our history”.
A YouGov poll showed 41 per cent of voters want the deal to pass, with 24 per cent opposed to it and the rest unsure. Among Conservative voters, 71 per cent want it to pass and just 9 per cent oppose it.
Via SKY / The Telegraph / The Guardian