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PM to Donald Tusk 19/10/19

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson wrote another letter to Donald Tusk in addition to the one demanded by Parliament requesting an extension.

In this letter, he distances himself from the letter requesting an extension, outlining his and the Government’s position as follows:

While it is open to the European Council to accede to the request mandated by Parliament or to offer an alternative extension period, I have made clear since becoming Prime Minister, and made clear to Parliament again today, my view, and the Government’s position, that a further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners, and the relationship between us. We must bring this process to a conclusion so that we can move to the next phase and build our new relationship on the foundations of our long history as neighbours and friends in this continent our people’s share. I am passionately committed to that endeavour.

It is not clear, whether this letter will be interpreted to mean that the PM is attempting to frustrate the “Surrender Law” (EU (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019) and future court action may be taken by his opponents to establish whether this is the case.

The letter in full is here:

PM to Donald Tusk 19 October 2019 (pdf)

PM Statement in HOC following debate on 19 Oct 2019

Following the vote in the House of Commons on Saturday 19 October 2019 which rendered the Meaningful vote Meaningless, the PM made a statement.

Transcript:

Mr Speaker, I am very grateful to you, I am very grateful to the House of Commons staff, everybody who’s put themselves out, everybody who has come to give up their time in this debate today. It’s been a very important debate, an exceptional moment for our country, an exceptional moment for our Parliament. Alas the opportunity to have a meaningful vote has been effectively been passed up because the meaningful vote has been voided of meaning. But I wish the House to know that I’m not daunted or dismayed by this particular result and I think it probably became likely once it was obvious that the amendment from my Right Honourable Friend the Member for West Dorset was going to remain on the order paper. I continue in the very strong belief that the best thing for the UK and for the whole of Europe is for us to leave with this new deal on October 31.

And to anticipate the questions that are coming from the benches opposite, I will not negotiate a delay with the EU, and neither does the law compel me to do so. I will tell our friends and colleagues in the EU exactly what I’ve told everyone in the last 88 days that I’ve served as Prime Minister: that further delay would be bad for this country, bad for the European Union and bad for democracy.

So next week the Government will introduce the legislation needed for us to leave the EU with our new deal on October 31. And I hope that our European Union colleagues and friends will not be attracted as the benches opposite are by delay. I don’t think they’ll be attracted by delay.

And I hope that then Honourable Members faced with a choice of our new deal, our new deal for the UK and the European Union, will change their minds because it was pretty close today. I hope that they will change their minds and support this deal in overwhelming numbers.

Since I became Prime Minister I’ve said we must get on and get Brexit done on October 31 so that this country can move on. Mr Speaker, that policy remains unchanged, no delays, and I will continue to do all I can to get Brexit done on October 31 and I continue to commend this excellent deal, Mr Speaker, to the House.

ref: Hansard

Another waste of time ?

The historic sitting of Parliament on Saturday 19 October 2019 was yet another damp squib with MPs, yet again, failing to reach a conclusion on Brexit.

With the majority of MPs in Parliament still in favour of NO BREXIT they managed to force through yet another delay rather than accepting or rejecting the current “new” Withdrawal Agreement.

Are they hoping that people will eventually get fed up and say “Lets Stay”?

The motion put to MPs for debate was

That, in light of the new deal agreed with the European Union, which enables the United Kingdom to respect the result of the referendum on its membership of the European Union and to leave the European Union on 31 October with a deal, and for the purposes of section 1(1)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 and section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, this House approves the negotiated withdrawal agreement titled Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and the framework for the future relationship titled Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom that the United Kingdom has concluded with the European Union under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, as well as a Declaration by Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning the operation of the Democratic consent in Northern Ireland provision of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, copies of these three documents which were laid before this House on Saturday 19 October.

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, selected amendment (a) in the name of the right hon. Member for West Dorset (Sir Oliver Letwin) to this Motion.

The second motion would also be considered during the debate

That this House approves the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union on exit day, without a withdrawal agreement as defined in section 20(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

During the debate, Oliver Letwin proposed his amendment

amendment (a), in motion 1, leave out from “with a deal,” to end and add

“this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.”

Amendment (a) has been tabled in my name and those of many other right hon. and hon. Members, and I do not need to detain the House for long. The purpose of the amendment, as has been said in several interventions and speeches, is to keep in place the insurance policy provided by the Benn Act that prevents us from automatically crashing out if no deal is in place by 31 October.

If passed, the amendment changes the motion being voted on completely and indicates that MPs are withholding approval of the deal (at least for today!)

Following debate a vote on the amendment was taken:

Results were 322 in favour of the amendment with 306 against.

(Statistically, Turnout: 628 votes cast, 51.27% in favour, 48.73% against – perhaps they should have a second vote ?)

Thus, Amendment (a) agreed to.

The Main Question, as amended, was put and agreed to without a further vote as follows:

That, in light of the new deal agreed with the European Union, which enables the United Kingdom to respect the result of the referendum on its membership of the European Union and to leave the European Union on 31 October with a deal, this House has considered the matter but withholds approval unless and until implementing legislation is passed.

Thus the day ended with no further progress towards concluding the Brexit question and MPs dodge making a decision again.

As a result of the vote, with no agreement being reached regarding approval of the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement, provisions of the “surrender” Act also known as, the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019, come into play that requires the Prime Minister to request an extension (another one) to the current extension due to expire on 31 October 2019 – more delay.

What would happen if the EU were to refuse a further extension ?

Consolidated Withdrawal Agreement 17 October 2019

Consolidated version of the Withdrawal Agreement following revision of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and technical adaptations to Articles 184 and 185, as agreed at negotiators’ level and endorsed by the European Council

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/working-document-consolidated-version-withdrawal-agreement-following-revision-protocol-ireland-northern-ireland-and-technical-adaptations-articles-184-and-185-agreed-negotiators-level-and-endorsed-european-council_en

and a copy

Consolidated Withdrawal Agreement (pdf)

Technical update to the Withdrawal Agreement 12 April 2019

An exchange of letters between the EU Commission and the UK setting out and confirming technical updates to the Withdrawal Agreement reflecting the extension of Article 50.

(…and you thought that the EU was not going to change the Withdrawal Agreement !!)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/technical-update-to-the-withdrawal-agreement

Also included is an updated copy of the Withdrawal Agreement reflecting these updates.


Letter from the European Union to the UK concerning the Withdrawal Agreement

(Local copy pdf)


Letter from the UK to the European Union concerning the Withdrawal Agreement

(Local copy pdf)


Updated Withdrawal Agreement including Article 50 extension

(Local copy pdf)

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