Johnson's Ministers have publicly said they have the numbers for the bill to be passed and for the UK to finally break free of the European Union, something the UK population voted for in a national referendum in June 2016.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on October 21, 2019

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has yet to win a vote in the House of Commons but he insists that the UK will leave the European Union on October 31.

In the first battle of what is set to be a week of bitter fighting in the UK Parliament, Johnson within hours will demand a meaningful vote on his Brexit deal today (Monday UK time) and will publish his Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB).

However, the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow could deny Johnson’s bid for a meaningful vote. He denied Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May in a similar situation and he said he needs to decide whether or not to allow the meaningful vote. Earlier in the year, Bercow ruled that the same bill cannot be presented to Parliament twice in the same form unless the circumstances are significantly different.

If Johnson does get the bill past the Speaker, the vote would not be make-or-break. The amendment passed on Saturday means that subsequent votes on the withdrawal agreement must also be signed off for Brexit to take place.

But the results would give a clear indication as to whether Johnson has the numbers to pass a deal. If he does, Brexit legislation laid down from Tuesday would be expected to pass. Even The Guardian believes he has the numbers 320-317.

Johnson’s Ministers have publicly said they have the numbers for the bill to be passed and for the UK to finally break free of the European Union, something the UK population voted for in a national referendum in June 2016.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said he could “guarantee” Britain will leave the bloc on October 31.

“That’s our determined policy. We know that the EU want us to leave, we know that we have a deal that allows us to leave,” he said.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also declared: “We seem to have the numbers in the House of Commons. A lot of people say, ‘Get this done and move on’.”

Boris Johnson’s hopes have been boosted with rebels Sir Oliver Letwin and Amber Rudd stating they will vote for the PM’s Brexit agreement after scuppering it at a special sitting of the House of Commons on Saturday.

He is going to try to rush through all stages of the Brexit legislation this week, with parliament sitting through late nights and part of the weekend, before an EU summit pencilled in for early next week.

The Opposition party, Labour, though is vowing to try to sabotage Boris’ deal by adding amendments to force a Second Referendum. Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said they will table amendments to force Britain to stay in the EU customs union and to stick to single market rules and were lobbying the Conservative party rebels and the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party.

Boris Johnson on Saturday was blocked in his efforts to pass a meaningful vote because Letwin, the former Conservative MP, managed to amend the motion so that parliament withholds support until MPs are able to pass the full Brexit legislation and properly scrutinise the deal. The amendment forced Johnson to send a letter to the EU requesting a three-month extension to article 50, which Brussels is now considering.