‘Pub­lic backs John­son to shut down Par­lia­ment for Brexit’

Poll sug­gests vot­ers want Oct 31 exit by any means and that MPS are out of touch

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Camilla Tominey, Christo­pher Hope and Harry Yorke

BORIS JOHN­SON has the sup­port of more than half of the pub­lic to de­liver Brexit by any means, in­clud­ing sus­pend­ing Par­lia­ment, a poll has sug­gested.

The Comres sur­vey for The Daily

Tele­graph found that 54 per cent of Bri­tish adults think Par­lia­ment may have to be pro­rogued to pre­vent MPS stop­ping a no-deal Brexit.

The poll sug­gested the Prime Min­is­ter was more in tune with the pub­lic’s views on Brexit than MPS, fol­low­ing his prom­ise to de­liver Brexit by Oct 31 “do or die”.

Brus­sels has so far re­fused to give any ground to Mr John­son on Brexit, but Gov­ern­ment sources said last night that the Euro­pean Union had not re­opened ne­go­ti­a­tions be­cause it was wait­ing to see if Re­mainer rebels would act to try to pre­vent no deal.

The Prime Min­is­ter’s spokesman said: “I would hope that the EU now fully un­der­stands the UK’S de­ter­mi­na­tion to leave the EU on Oct 31, no ifs or buts. We stand ready to ne­go­ti­ate.”

Last night, John Bolton, the US na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, ap­peared to put pres­sure on Brus­sels by in­sist­ing Wash­ing­ton would “en­thu­si­as­ti­cally” sup­port no deal and was pre­pared to “fast track” a free trade deal with Bri­tain within a year of it leav­ing the EU.

Gov­ern­ment sources think for­mal talks with Brus­sels are un­likely to re­sume be­fore an EU sum­mit on Oct 17.

Mr John­son is con­sid­er­ing whether to head to France or Ger­many next week to hold talks with An­gela Merkel and Em­manuel Macron be­fore the G7 sum­mit at the end of the month which will be dom­i­nated by en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

Last night Mr John­son, 55, and his girl­friend Carrie Sy­monds, 31, at­tended their first pub­lic joint en­gage­ment in No10 when Down­ing Street hosted a re­cep­tion for hospice staff.

Of­fi­cials be­lieve Sept 9 will be the mo­ment that Labour and Tory Re­main­ers will try a par­lia­men­tary ma­noeu­vre to stop no deal.

The Gov­ern­ment is due to pub­lish an up­date on North­ern Ire­land’s at­tempts to form a de­volved ad­min­is­tra­tion on Sept 4, and MPS will then be given five days to de­bate the report.

A Gov­ern­ment source said: “If they are go­ing to pull a par­lia­men­tary stunt, that is when they will do it. They [the EU] are go­ing to wait un­til then to see how this plays out in those two weeks.” The new poll re­vealed that should MPS act, they may not have the sup­port of vot­ers. Asked whether they thought Par­lia­ment was more in tune with the pub­lic than Mr John­son, 62 per cent dis­agreed.

Nine in 10 of those asked said Par­lia­ment was out of touch with the pub­lic (88 per cent), while 89 per cent be­lieved most MPS were ig­nor­ing the wishes of vot­ers to pur­sue their own agenda on Brexit. The pub­lic also over­whelm­ingly re­jected the idea of the Queen be­ing dragged into Brexit af­ter John Mcdon­nell, the shadow chan­cel­lor, threat­ened to send Jeremy Cor­byn, the Labour leader, to Buckingham Palace “in a cab” to tell the 93-year-old monarch the Op­po­si­tion was “tak­ing over” if Mr John­son were to lose a vote of no con­fi­dence but re­fused to re­sign. Asked if the Queen should re­main above pol­i­tics and refuse to get in­volved in Brexit, 77 per cent said yes and 23 per cent said no.

While Re­mainer MPS may not have the sup­port of the pub­lic to block a nodeal exit, they may also strug­gle to get enough sup­port in the Com­mons.

Un­der the Fixed Term Par­lia­ments Act, MPS have 14 days to try and form an al­ter­na­tive gov­ern­ment in the event of Mr John­son los­ing a vote of no con­fi­dence, other­wise a gen­eral elec­tion will be trig­gered.

Yes­ter­day Diane Ab­bott, the shadow home sec­re­tary, ad­mit­ted that Labour would only ta­ble a vote “with con­fi­dence we can win it”. In­sist­ing the tim­ing of the vote was “above my pay

grade”, Ms Ab­bott con­firmed talks with other par­ties were tak­ing place, but re­fused to give a pre­cise date.

It came amid re­ports that a num­ber of Tory rebels have pri­vately ad­mit­ted that their at­tempts to over­turn the ref­er­en­dum re­sult have failed. One said: “I have to ad­mit it. It’s over. I don’t want to be part of it all.”

A group of in­de­pen­dent and Labour MPS have also told The Tele­graph they are un­likely to back a con­fi­dence vote ow­ing to con­cerns it could put Mr Cor­byn in Down­ing Street. A se­nior Labour MP also claimed that “at least 10” of their col­leagues who now in­tend to vote for a Brexit deal would also vote with the Gov­ern­ment.

The In­sti­tute for Gov­ern­ment has claimed “time is run­ning out” for MPS try­ing to block no deal, con­clud­ing that “sim­ply vot­ing against” no deal could not stop Mr John­son. In its new pa­per, the think tank con­cludes that some of the pre­vi­ous leg­isla­tive av­enues were no longer avail­able and that Down­ing Street could sim­ply “ig­nore” their op­po­si­tion in Par­lia­ment.

Lord Lis­vane, the for­mer Clerk of the House of Com­mons, said Mr John­son could sus­pend the Com­mons through a “Sit­ting of the House Mo­tion” to pre­vent MPS try­ing to co­a­lesce around a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

How­ever, the peer, who served as the most se­nior constituti­onal ad­viser to the House, said: “To do so would be an open sub­ver­sion of the (ad­mit­tedly un­sat­is­fac­tory) FTPA process, and would be open to fierce (and jus­ti­fied) crit­i­cism.”

Comres in­ter­viewed 2,011 Bri­tish adults from Au­gust 9 to 11, 2019.

Boris John­son with his part­ner Carrie Sy­monds at a re­cep­tion for hospice staff last night, their first joint pub­lic en­gage­ment at Down­ing Street

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