BORIS: BREXIT REBELS PLAY­ING INTO EU HANDS

● PM blasts Re­main­ers for ‘sab­o­tag­ing’ deal ●...As he pledges £14bn in ed­u­ca­tion revo­lu­tion

Daily Express - - FRONT PAGE - By Macer Hall Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

BORIS John­son yes­ter­day ac­cused MPs of plotting to sab­o­tage his Brexit plans.

In a curt re­buff to Re­mainer rebels, the Prime Min­is­ter warned that Brus­sels chiefs would be less likely to compromise if they thought

there was still a chance Bri­tain’s de­par­ture from the EU could be can­celled.

His in­ter­ven­tion came as Tory rebels and op­po­si­tion MPs fi­nalised their bid to use Com­mons pro­ce­dures to wreck Mr John­son’s plans for a five-week par­lia­men­tary break.

Mr John­son said yes­ter­day: “I’m afraid that the more our friends and part­ners think, at the back of their minds, that Brexit could be stopped – that the UK could be kept in by Par­lia­ment – the less likely they are to give us the deal we need.”

As the Prime Min­is­ter pledged an ex­tra £14bil­lion for schools as part of a class­room revo­lu­tion ahead of next week’s Trea­sury spend­ing re­view, Mr John­son also pre­dicted that fail­ure to de­liver Brexit on Oc­to­ber 31 “will do last­ing dam­age to peo­ple’s trust in pol­i­tics” and “cat­a­strophic dam­age” to both Tories and Labour.

“This po­lit­i­cal gen­er­a­tion won’t be for­given for fail­ing to honour that prom­ise,” he said.

“We told the peo­ple we would get it done. We’re in the last stages now of ne­go­ti­at­ing with our friends about a way to get it done.

“If we can’t suc­ceed in that ne­go­ti­a­tion, we must come out any­way. But the best way to suc­ceed in that ne­go­ti­a­tion is for ev­ery­body to be united in the ob­jec­tive, for the UK’s ne­go­ti­a­tions to have the strong­est pos­si­ble hand.”

Mr John­son also in­sisted that MPs would still have plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­bate Brexit be­fore his EU de­par­ture dead­line at the end of Oc­to­ber.

He said: “We’re com­ing up to the last pe­riod be­fore we leave on 31 Oc­to­ber and, in that pe­riod, Par­lia­ment is go­ing to have a lot of time – they’ve spent three years de­bat­ing Brexit with­out ac­tu­ally get­ting it over the line – for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion.”

The Prime Min­is­ter said that as it cur­rently stands, Theresa May’s With­drawal Agree­ment would leave the UK be­ing “bossed around by Brus­sels with no come­back”.

He also in­sisted that it needed to be rewrit­ten.

“Ev­ery­body can see the rough shape of what needs to be done,

ev­ery­body has now got a fix in their heads about the kind of land­ing place we need to get to,” Mr John­son said.

“It’s go­ing to take work, it’s go­ing to take a lot of en­ergy for us to get there.”

The Prime Min­is­ter spoke out af­ter anti-Brexit Tory rebel Sir Oliver Letwin con­firmed he had been in con­tact with Com­mons Speaker John Ber­cow to dis­cuss scup­per­ing the move to sus­pend par­lia­ment us­ing the an­cient “pro­ro­ga­tion” cer­e­mony.

On Wed­nes­day, the Queen ac­cepted Mr John­son’s re­quest to

end the cur­rent par­lia­men­tary ses­sion within the next fort­night, just days af­ter MPs are due back at work af­ter the sum­mer break.

This means the an­nual par­lia­men­tary break for the party con­fer­ence sea­son will be length­ened by four to six days, with MPs and peers re­turn­ing to West­min­ster on Oc­to­ber

14 for the Queen’s Speech, which Mr John­son said would out­line his “very ex­cit­ing agenda”. Pro-Brus­sels MPs have ac­cused the Prime Min­is­ter of try­ing to si­lence de­bate about Brexit while Mr Ber­cow has also con­demned the pro­posed pro­ro­ga­tion as a “con­sti­tu­tional out­rage”. Yes­ter­day, Sir Oliver told BBC Ra­dio 4’s To­day pro­gramme: “I’m con­cerned about how we can en­sure that Bri­tain doesn’t make a sud­den, dis­or­derly, undemocrat­ic, no-deal exit on 31 Oc­to­ber.

“I be­lieve that there prob­a­bly is time. Whether we can get the re­quired ma­jori­ties in the House of Com­mons is al­to­gether an­other mat­ter.

“I know there are a num­ber of my col­leagues who feel that a dis­or­derly, no-deal exit is a very bad idea and they have, in the past, been will­ing to sup­port ef­forts to pre­vent that hap­pen­ing.

“I hope that Par­lia­ment will take a series of ac­tions that by the end of the week mean that Boris John­son knows that, as Prime

Min­is­ter, if he doesn’t get a deal he is go­ing to have seek an extension.”

The move threat­ened by Sir Oliver could force Mr John­son to de­lay Brexit be­yond the Oc­to­ber 31 dead­line unless a new With­drawal Agree­ment is signed off by Brus­sels.

Labour’s shadow at­tor­ney gen­eral Baroness Chakrabart­i yes­ter­day said “since the con­sti­tu­tional out­rage” she had “greater com­fort that minds are now fo­cused, es­pe­cially on the Con­ser­va­tive side”.

She told the To­day pro­gramme

that there were ways of pre­vent­ing fil­i­busters and “any sort of public school dirty tricks” aimed at block­ing leg­is­la­tion when it reaches the Lords.

But For­eign Sec­re­tary Do­minic Raab dis­missed the sug­ges­tion that pro­ro­ga­tion was a con­sti­tu­tional out­rage as “non­sense”.

He said: “It’s ac­tu­ally law­ful, it’s per­fectly proper, there is prece­dent for it and ac­tu­ally, fun­da­men­tally, for the peo­ple watch­ing this, they want to see that we are leav­ing the EU but also talk­ing about all the other things they ex­pect us to be ad­dress­ing.”

Tory rebel... Sir Oliver Letwin

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