The House of Fools: MPs subjected us to more agonising Brexit delay

Mail Online | 10/19/2019 | Glen Owen Political Editor;Harry Cole Deputy Political Editor For The Mail On Sunday
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It was the moment an exasperated nation let out a collective howl of frustration.

At precisely 2.50pm yesterday, when Britain might finally have hoped to move ahead with Brexit, Commons Speaker John Bercow announced that MPs had again voted – by 322 to 306 – for more delays to the seemingly interminable process.

Boris - Johnson - 'wreckers - Delays - October

But a defiant Boris Johnson immediately vowed not to be beaten by the 'wreckers', saying any further delays to his October 31 deadline would be 'pointless, expensive and corrosive of public trust'.

And last night his ploy to outmanoeuvre the Brexit blockers was revealed, as he sent not just one letter to the EU, but three – one asking for an extension, as Parliament had compelled him to do, and two more making it clear it was not the Government's wish.

Saturday - Sitting - MPs - Amendment - Cabinet

On their historic Saturday sitting, MPs voted for an amendment tabled by former Cabinet Minister Sir Oliver Letwin, which means the Commons must further debate the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.

It meant Mr Johnson could not secure support yesterday, so, under the controversial Benn Act, he had to write to Brussels to request an extension to the UK's membership beyond the end of the month.

Letter - EU - PM - Delay - 'deeply

But in a separate signed letter to the EU, the PM described a delay as 'deeply corrosive' and would 'damage the interests' of both sides.

He vowed that the UK would continue to ratify the deal and said EU should do the same.

Mr - Johnson - Support - French - President

Mr Johnson seemed to have the support of French President Emmanuel Macron, who said that a Brexit delay would be 'in the interest of no one'.

Before his ploy was revealed, Mr Johnson told a febrile Commons: 'I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to.'

Legislation - Tomorrow - Commons - Vote

He said he would bring legislation forward tomorrow and call a new Commons vote...
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