Brexit: Next week ‘only opportunity’ to act on no deal

Next week could be MPs’ “only opportunity” to challenge a no-deal Brexit, ex-minister David Gauke has said.

This follows the prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament in September and October.

The move sparked criticism from those who argue Boris Johnson is trying to prevent MPs from blocking a no-deal Brexit.

Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg said their outrage was “phoney”.

The government said the five-week suspension – known as prorogation – in September and October will still allow time to debate Brexit.

But government whip Lord Young has resigned in protest, arguing the move risks “undermining the fundamental role of Parliament”.

And a Scottish court hearing is under way which could block the suspension of Parliament.

Speaking to the BBC, the former justice secretary David Gauke has said it looks like next week is “the only opportunity” for MPs to act before the UK leaves the EU.

He argued the public did not want a no-deal Brexit but that the options of those opposed to such an exit have “now narrowed”.

“That would suggest we need to move sooner rather than later,” he said.

And shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said he believes that Parliament will be able to find a way to stop a no-deal Brexit but that nobody should “underestimate” how difficult it would be.

A video has emerged of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace appearing to say Parliament was being suspended to get Brexit “sorted”.

He was caught on camera discussing the PM’s decision with the French defence minister Florence Parly, saying that Parliament had been “very good at saying what it doesn’t want, but… awful at saying what it wants”.

<<BBC>>