Yesterday late – just before the midnight deadline as determined by MPs from the & # 39; wrecker & # 39; – a total of three letters from the government had to be sent to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council.
The first was the letter demanded by the Benn Act, asking the EU to postpone Brexit until after the deadline of October 31 – but not signed by Boris Johnson – using the exact terms specified in the legislation.
The second was a cover letter written by Sir Tim Barrow, the UK permanent representative in Brussels, who made it clear that the first letter came from Parliament and not from the government.
And the third was a letter from Mr. Johnson, which was also sent to the leaders of the other 27 EU countries, in which he rejected the first letter by making it clear that he does not want a delay to Brexit.
The prime minister said that a further delay & # 39; very corrosive & # 39; and & # 39; would harm the interests of the UK and our EU partners & # 39 ;.
He said that UK would continue to ratify the deal and urged Brussels to do the same.
Late tonight – just before the midnight deadline set by & # 39; wrecker & # 39; MEPs – a total of three letters from the government had to be sent to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council
The first (photo) was the letter demanded by the Benn Act, asking the EU to postpone Brexit until after the October 31 deadline – but not signed by Boris Johnson – using the exact wording in the legislation
The second (photo) was a cover letter written by Sir Tim Barrow, the UK permanent representative in Brussels, who made it clear that the first letter came from Parliament and not from the government.
In his third letter (photo) the prime minister said that a further delay & # 39; very corrosive & # 39; and & # 39; would harm the interests of the UK and our EU partners & # 39;
The historical series of correspondence, sent both on paper and electronically by Sir Tim, represents the prime minister's challenging riposte to the & # 39; rebel alliance & # 39; who weakened his attempt to finally get Commons support for Brexit yesterday.
Johnson is also pushing himself to face a direct legal challenge from pro-Remain groups for his three letter trick because he has not signed the Benn Mission.
However, no 10 lawyers pointed out that the Benn Act only orders the prime minister to & # 39; send & # 39; and not to & # 39; sign & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Our lawyers have allowed a narrow interpretation of the conditions. We are perfectly entitled to that, & # 39 ;, said a high government source last night.
The fate of Mr Johnson's deal is now in the hands of speaker John Bercow – who hinted yesterday that he might not allow a meaningful vote on it – the rebel MPs and other EU leaders, especially the French president Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, has confirmed that he has received the extension request from Boris Johnson. He said on Twitter: & # 39; The extension request has just arrived. I am now going to consult EU leaders on how to respond & # 39;
The fate of Mr Johnson's deal is now in the hands of speaker John Bercow – who hinted yesterday that he might not allow a meaningful vote on it – the rebels and other EU leaders, especially French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right)
Downing Street is hopeful that other EU leaders will refuse to allow an extension.
A source said that they have the chances of & # 39; about 50 percent & # 39; and added: & # 39; Macron has been a particularly harrowing private about not wanting to renew, and we hope he could take Merkel. & # 39;
Yesterday evening, the office of the French President indeed indicated that they would not support an extension, which, according to officials, & # 39; used to be.
The Elysee Palace said, given that a deal had been negotiated, & it is now up to the British Parliament to say whether it approves or rejects it. The basic principles must be voted on. & # 39;
Johnson is also preparing for a direct legal challenge from pro-Remain groups (photo, Oliver Letwin) for his three letter trick because he has not signed the Benn mission
The expectation is that the EU will postpone any decision on an extension until a special summit scheduled for October 28 – just 72 hours before the scheduled Brexit date. By that time, Downing Street hopes to have accepted a deal by the Commons.
After returning to Downing Street from yesterday's debate, Johnson spent the evening calling other EU leaders to talk them through the contents of his third letter.
& # 39; The request for deferment is not mine, & # 39; he said. & # 39; It is Parliament's request and if you grant it, you give it to Parliament, not to me. I do not want a delay & # 39 ;.
The Prime Minister's plea against fellow leaders repeated his statement to the Commons yesterday: "I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and the law does not force me to do that."
There were also claims that Mr. Johnson had shown to Tory MPs (photo, Dominic Grieve and Hilary Benn) that he was trying to win a text message from Mr. Macron and promised to block any extension
In his speech to the first Saturday of the House of Representatives since the Falklands war in 1982, Johnson vowed to Europe that & # 39; further delay would be bad for this country, bad for the European Union and bad for democracy & # 39 ;.
There were also claims that Mr. Johnson had shown to those Tory MPs that he was trying to win a text message from Mr. Macron, promising to block an extension.
Such a hard line from the EU and national leaders would help Johnson to continue his story that MPs should vote for his deal or risk leaving the block at the end of the month without a deal.
There are, however, even more threatening confrontations with Parliament that could still force the EU to further delay.
An important flash point this week will be when the government imposes its withdrawal agreement to turn Mr Johnson's deal into legislation.
Whips fear that others will hijack a vote on the so-called program movement – indicating the amount of time that is spent on MPs to debate legislation.
Rebels risk trying to derail the fast timetable that Downing Street has set to meet their Halloween deadline.
Last night a former Brexit adviser from Downing Street suggested that the government would urge the EU27 to postpone a decision on an extension until this crucial vote was held on Tuesday.
Raoul Ruparel said that if the government loses control of the program movement, the & # 39; EU will have to take this into account, & # 39; make an extension much more likely because it will be clear that a deal cannot be ratified & # 39; on October 31.
Last night there was also confusion about exactly when the government would try to bring the withdrawal law to the floor of the House after Commons Leader and hardline Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg opened a new row with speaker John Bercow.
Mr Rees-Mogg said that parliamentary matters would change on Monday by including a debate on a motion on the draft UK agreement with the EU, which would be followed by a vote.
But his announcement caused dismay among opposition MPs, while a furious Mr. Bercow expressed his unhappiness with the situation.
The speaker said he expected ministers to propose legislation to get support for their deal, but expressed surprise at the plan to reiterate yesterday's attempt to vote.
He sketched that he would consider the case yesterday before ruling tomorrow.
& # 39; Shame on you & # 39 ;: hate-filled anti-Brexit crowd focuses on Jacob Rees-Mogg & # 39; s son Peter, 12, while they & # 39; traitor & # 39; call
- About 30 campaigners broke the Leader of the Commons and his son Peter
- It came when they walked from Parliament to the £ 5 million nearby family home
- A dozen police officers formed a protective ring around the pair while protesters hunted
by Mark Hookham and Brendan Carlin for the mail on Sunday
A crowd of hard-line anti-Brexit demonstrators chased Jacob Rees-Mogg and his 12-year-old son on the street after yesterday's crunch vote, shouting: & # 39; Shame. & # 39;
About 30 campaigners broke the Leader of the Commons and his son Peter as they walked from Parliament to the nearby £ 5 million family home.
A dozen police officers formed a protective ring around the pair while protesters whimpered, whistled, cursed and & # 39; traitor & # 39; called out.
About 30 campaigners broke the Leader of the Commons and his son Peter (pictured together) as they walked from the Parliament to the £ 5 million family home nearby
The officers then stood across Mr. Rees-Mogg's five-story mansion street to prevent activists from chasing him to his front door.
Cabinet colleague Michael Gove also had a 12-person police escort to leave Westminster, while Business Secretary Andrew Leadsom needed protection against the & # 39; frightening & # 39; crowd.
She later tweeted: & # 39; Why do the so-called People & # 39; s Vote protesters think it's OK to abuse, intimidate and yell at someone they disagree with? & # 39;
The ugly scenes came after tens of thousands of Remain supporters marched on Westminster for a massive gathering to coincide with the Commons debate.
A dozen police officers formed a protective ring around the pair while protesters hunted, whistled, cursed, and shouted & # 39; traitor & # 39;
An important part of the protest was a carnival boat with a Nazi-style image by Dominicus Cummings, adviser to Boris Johnson.
The figure was in charge of a & # 39; puppet & # 39; prime, and & # 39; Demonic Cummings & # 39; written on the side of his head and wore a brown shirt, an SS-style bracelet and a Union Jack instead of a & # 39; Hitler & # 39; mustache.
The tracker was organized by pro-Remain campaign group EU Flag Mafia and designed by the controversial German artist Jacques Tilly.
He previously designed papier-mâché figurines of Islamist suicide bombers and a picture of former Prime Minister Theresa May with a & # 39; Brexit & # 39; gun in her mouth. Phil Jeanes, from EU Flag Mafia, drove the statue from the German city of Düsseldorf to the UK and defended the Nazi images last night.
An important part of the protest was a carnival boat with a Nazi-style image by Dominicus Cummings, adviser to Boris Johnson (photo)
& # 39; We have a premier who is a puppet and … a non-chosen special adviser who has very strong right-wing views … So bringing him in a brown shirt and Nazi-style bracelets brings us back to what happened in the Thirties in Germany & # 39 ;, said the 67-year-old.
Videos posted online show Mr. Peter van Rees-Mogg, who appears to be anxious while protesters barrack his father and the police form a phalanx around them. After the crowd was blocked from continuing to follow, a demonstrator was heard who said: & # 39; Back to the pub. & # 39;
Mr. Rees-Mogg discussed the protesters last night because they were & # 39; more uncivilized & # 39; were then climate change protesters who have brought chaos to parts of London. & # 39; I think the Remainiacs are not as well-mannered as the people from the Extinction Rebellion, & # 39; he said.
Cabinet colleague Michael Gove also had a 12-person police escort to leave Westminster (photo), while Company Secretary Andrew Leadsom needed protection against the & # 39; frightening & # 39; crowd
& # 39; I was going to stroll home, but my private office said the police wanted to take me back. I thought it was going to be a police officer and it turned out to be a posse. & # 39;
He insisted that his son, who had watched much of the stormy Commons debate from a visitor's gallery, previously & # 39; excited & # 39; was then afraid of the crowd.
Tory MP Tom Tugendhat said the scenes were a & # 39; sad statement about what we have become & # 39 ;. Security Minister Brandon Lewis tweeted: “Shocking that everyone believes this is the right way to behave and give the police more time. Jacob Rees-Mogg shows true class in his calm. & # 39;
Mr. Rees-Mogg's sister, Annunziata, member of the Brexit party, said: & I keep forgetting that the Remoaners are the nice guys. & # 39;
A People & # 39; s Vote spokesperson said: & # 39; We don't endorse anyone being followed by protesters or barracks on the way home. & # 39;
Asked about the image of Cummings, the spokesman said he could not comment because he had not seen the bobber.
Meanwhile, Labor frontbencher Diane Abbott was harassed by an extreme right-wing activist after tackling the Parliament Square rally.
She was chased by Danny Tommo, a friend of the English Defense League founder Tommy Robinson, who shouted: “The country is so divided, Diane, it's so divided. You must stop this. It must stop. & # 39;
Although the organizers claimed yesterday that a million people were marching in London, the figure is probably blown up dramatically.
Campaigners claimed that the Brexit referendum in March last October attracted 700,000 protesters, but online expert analysis brought the figure closer to 82,000.
The House of Fools: Britain could have begun to heal today after the end of our Brexit purgatory, but MPs are subjecting us to more painful delays instead
It was the moment when an annoyed nation let out a collective howl of frustration.
Yesterday at exactly 2.50 p.m., when Britain could finally hope to continue with Brexit, Commons Chairman John Bercow announced that MPs had voted again – against 322 to 306 – for more delays in the seemingly endless process.
But a challenging Boris Johnson immediately swore that he would not be defeated by the & # 39; wreckers & # 39; and said further delays in his October 31 deadline & # 39; meaningless, expensive, and corrosive to public confidence & # 39; would be.
And last night his trick was revealed to outwit the Brexit blockers, because he sent not just one letter to the EU, but three – a request for renewal, as Parliament had required him to do, and two more to be clear to make it not the desire of the government.
At their historic Saturday session, MPs voted for an amendment tabled by former Prime Minister Sir Oliver Letwin, which means that the Commons should further discuss the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.
It meant that Johnson couldn't get support yesterday, so under the controversial Benn Act he had to write to Brussels to apply for an extension of British membership after the end of the month.
It was the moment when an annoyed nation let out a collective howl of frustration. Pictured: Jeremy Corbyn
But in a separate signed letter to the EU, the prime minister described a delay as & # 39; very corrosive & # 39; and & # 39; the interests & # 39; from both parties.
He promised that the UK would continue to ratify the deal and said that the EU should do the same.
Johnson seemed to have the support of French President Emmanuel Macron, who said that a Brexit delay is in the interest of no one & # 39; would be.
Yesterday at exactly 2.50 pm, when Britain could finally hope to continue with Brexit, Commons Speaker John Bercow (photo) announced that MPs had voted again – by 322 to 306 – for more delays in the seemingly endless process
Before his ruse was revealed, Johnson told a feverish Commons: "I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and the law will not force me."
He said he would put forward legislation tomorrow and cast a new Commons vote on the deal he had dramatically closed in Brussels last week.
On a day of high political drama in Westminster:
- Sir Oliver and fellow Tory rebels faced a furious reaction to sabotaging the & # 39; super Saturday & # 39; plan to finally end the country's Brexit nightmare because of allegations that he had acted in collaboration with a pro-Remain lawyer;
- He hoped that Johnson could gather a majority for his Brexit plans after Labor MPs and Tory rebels had indicated that they could vote for his deal after he had requested an extension;
- Interior Minister Priti Patel contacted the six Labor MPs who voted with the government to assist with their safety amid reports that they had received violent threats; Speaker Bercow hinted that he could prevent the government from holding a binding vote on the deal this week;
- Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a new civil war for claims that he secretly hoped to lose the vote;
- MPs said they would try to introduce new laws to & # 39; collusion & # 39; between foreign governments and the Commons on drafting legislation, following claims that Sir Oliver and other members of the so-called & # 39; rebel alliance & # 39; had received help from abroad;
- Thousands of campaigners for a second referendum marched in London, when The Mail received leaked emails on Sunday regarding Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell in a Blairite takeover of the organization behind;
- Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg was hacked by the demonstrators as he walked through Westminster with his young son Peter;
- Nigel Farage rejected an attempt to redeem his opposition to the prime minister's deal with a peerage & # 39 ;.
Sir Oliver's amendment that triggered the Benn Act was supported by Labor MPs and ten former Tory rebels, including former Chancellor Philip Hammond and former Justice Minister David Gauke.
It was also supported by the DUP after Mr Johnson's last closing meetings with the Unionists had not changed their mind.
The vote flew in the face of opinion polls that showed strong public support to MPs to support the deal and ultimately resolve the Brexit saga.
During angry scenes in the first Commons Saturday session since the Falklands war in 1982, Mr. Corbyn demanded that the prime minister & # 39; obey the law & # 39; and the EU would ask for an extension.
But last night, No. 10 ordered Sir Tim Barrow, the United Kingdom Permanent Representative in Brussels, to transfer a total of three letters.
One was a photocopy of the letter in the Benn Act asking the EU to postpone Brexit – which was not signed by Boris Johnson.
The second was an accompanying letter from Sir Tim that made it clear that the request was from the Parliament and not from the government.
At their historic Saturday session, MPs voted for an amendment tabled by former cabinet minister Sir Oliver Letwin (photo), which means that the Commons should further discuss the prime minister's Brexit deal.
The third was a signed letter from Mr. Johnson – who was also sent to the leaders of the 27 other EU countries – in which he distanced himself from the first letter by making it clear that he was strongly opposed to any delay at Brexit.
After Mr. Johnson said that he would introduce legislation and cast a new vote, Mr. Bercow – who was accused of attaching Commons cases to & # 39; to help Remainers – and complained that he & # 39; blindly & # 39; had been and suggested that he would disable it.
The prime minister told the Commons that the Brexit issue should no longer consume Westminster & # 39 ;. & # 39; Parliament need not be reminded that this is the second deal and the fourth vote, three and a half years after the nation voted for the Brexit.
& # 39; And in those years, friendships have been tense, families have been divided and this House's attention has been devoured by a single issue that was sometimes unable to resolve.
Sir Oliver's amendment activating the Benn law was supported by Labor MPs and ten former Tory rebels, including former Chancellor Philip Hammond (photo) and former Justice Minister David Gauke
& # 39; But I hope this is the moment when we can finally reach that resolution and reconcile the instincts that compete in us. & # 39;
Despite the defeat, in Downing Street, however, hoped that Mr. Johnson would eventually have the numbers to pass his Brexit deal.
The 306 who voted with the government yesterday include all 283 currently serving conservative MPs and 11 of the 21 Tories expelled by Johnson last month.
And some of the Tory rebels who voted with Mr. Letwin – including Mr. Gauke and Nick Boles – indicated that they would support the deal after the extension was requested.
In a further boost, the number of votes for Mr. Johnson & # 39; s deal yesterday was swollen by six Labor MPs and five former Labor MPs who sit as independent.
Other Labor MPs, including Gareth Snell, suggested they vote for a deal in the future, indicating that Mr. Johnson has a way to a majority when he tries a new vote this week.
Government whips are confident that they are & # 39; double digits & # 39; from Labor MPs to support the Brexit deal next time, reaching the crucial Commons majority rate of 320.
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