The bill obliging the British government to request a three-month delay from Brexit from Brussels and not allowing the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal is expected to become law on Monday. For this, the bill, for which both houses of the British Parliament voted last week, must receive the so-called royal sanction, that is, be approved by Queen Elizabeth II.
The government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was opposed to the protracted negotiations, could not prevent this draft law from being introduced by opposition parties with the support of some members of the ruling Conservative Party. At the same time, until the last moment, Johnson had the opportunity not to submit this bill to the monarch for signature and thus avoid its adoption. However, the British government refused to take this step, which would intensify the political crisis.
However, the prime minister promised that under no circumstances would Brussels ask for a respite. In a letter to members of the Conservative Party, Johnson wrote: “They just passed a law that will make me beg Brussels to extend the Brexit deadline. I will never do that.”
Local political analysts regarded this statement as the prime minister’s readiness to break the law and not follow the instructions of the parliament. Ken MacDonald, the former head of the British Attorney’s Office, warned in an interview that Johnson would face a prison sentence. Such a development is possible if Johnson refuses to comply with a court order that will support the position of parliament. According to information, a group of British deputies from various parties have already expressed their intention to file a lawsuit against the head of government if he does not comply with the law.
A re-vote is also scheduled for Monday in the House of Commons on Johnson’s proposal to hold early elections on October 15. Thus, the prime minister is trying to seize the initiative from the deputies – having received a majority in parliament, he will be able to adopt his laws and withdraw the country from the EU without a deal.
The Labor Party, together with other opposition political forces in parliament, does not agree to support early elections until October 31, the planned date for leaving the European Union. They want to first make sure that Johnson requests a respite, and only then give consent to the election. Last week, the opposition did not support early will and is expected to do so on September 9.
All these events take place against the backdrop of the most acute crisis in the ruling party. Of the Tories, 21 deputies, including several former ministers, were expelled for supporting the Brexit bill. In disagreement with this, as well as with Brexit’s cabinet position, Johnson’s younger brother, deputy education minister Joe Johnson, and labor and pension minister Amber Rudd resigned. They left the party, which last week and without their demarche lost the majority in the House of Commons.
After the meeting on September 9, the work of the British Parliament will be suspended until October 14. This was done on Johnson’s initiative – despite the loud opposition protests, he exercised his right and received permission from the monarch. At the same time, analysts point out that the Brexit bill, which is due to gain legal status on Monday, as well as the Labor Party’s refusal to hold early elections, essentially deprived it of control over the process of leaving the EU.