No Deal Politics

Taking over the Business in the HoC

Following a vote in the House of Commons on 3 September 2019, MPs voted by 328 votes to 301 to allow a motion that takes over the business of the House of Commons from the Government, in order to present a Bill that prevents the UK leaving without a deal agreed between the UK and the EU.

The Prime Minister stated that Conservative MPs who voted against the Government would have the Tory whip removed, meaning that they would be expelled from the Conservative party. However, they will continue to sit in Parliament as Independent MPs until the next election when they will also be barred from standing as Conservative MPs.

The vote was a defeat for the Government with 21 Conservative MPs voting against the Government, these were:

  • Guto Bebb (*)
  • Richard Benyon
  • Steve Brine
  • Alistair Burt (*)
  • Greg Clark
  • Ken Clarke (*)
  • David Gauke
  • Justine Greening (*)
  • Dominic Grieve
  • Sam Gyimah
  • Philip Hammond
  • Stephen Hammond
  • Richard Harrington (*)
  • Margot James
  • Oliver Letwin (*)
  • Anne Milton
  • Caroline Nokes
  • Antoinette Sandbach
  • Nicholas Soames
  • Rory Stewart
  • Ed Vaizey

[names marked (*) have indicated that they will not be standing at the next election].

In addition, prior to the vote, the Conservative MP for Bracknell had resigned from the Conservative Party and joined the Liberal Democrats, voting against the Government.

This leaves the Conservative Party with a total of 289 MPs.

The Bill – European Union (Withdrawal) (No.6) Bill – will be presented to Parliament on 4 September. Boris Johnson has confirmed he will seek a snap General Election if MPs vote to prevent a “no-deal”.

Legal Politics

Can Boris Johnson can legally suspend Parliament ?

In more legal shenanigans, MPs determined to thwart Brexit have asked a Scottish Court to decide whether Boris Johnson can suspend Parliament to force through Brexit.

The Court of Session, in Scotland, has agreed to a fast-tracked hearing on whether Boris Johnson can legally suspend (prorogue) Parliament.

At a preliminary hearing Lord Doherty agreed to expedite the timetable for the legal challenge to take place, setting the date for the substantive hearing as Friday 6 September 2019.

A petition which has signatures from 70 MPs from the House of Commons and 5 members of the House of Lords was presented to the court requesting a

Judicial review on the vires of Ministers of the Crown to advise the Queen to prorogue the Westminster Parliament

A copy of the original petition to the court is available:

Petition for Judicial Review (pdf)

It will be interesting to see the outcome of this case and whether/how it will affect further proceedings in the House of Commons.


Prorogation of Parliament

Prorogation is the means (otherwise than by dissolution) by which a Parliamentary session is brought to an end.

It is a prerogative power exercised by the Crown on the advice of the Privy Council. In practice this process has been a formality in the UK for more than a century: the Government of the day advises the Crown to prorogue and that request is acquiesced to.

More information can be found in a House of Commons Library Briefing Paper at


CBP-8589 (pdf)