New PM ‘cannot be stopped’ taking Britain out of EU with No Deal

New Brexiteer PM who wants to take Britain out of the EU without a deal ‘cannot be stopped by Parliament’ despite law ordering Theresa May not to, think-tank says

  • MPs passed legislation to prevent a No Deal Brexit in Commons vote last month
  • It means Theresa May has to extend Britain’s stay in the EU rather than crash out
  • Theresa May is likely to announce her timetable to leave Downing Street today
  • Now report warns law would not stop her successor if they were set on No Deal 

Boris Johnson is the favourite to be the next Tory leader

A new Tory prime minister determined to take Britain out of the European Union without a deal ‘cannot be stopped by Parliament’, a report warned yesterday.

Parliament effectively blocked a No Deal exit earlier this year by passing a law ordering Theresa May to seek an extension to the UK’s membership of the EU.

But a study by the Institute for Government think-tank yesterday suggested that if a committed Brexiteer prime minister simply abandoned Mrs May’s deal, there would be little Parliament could do to stop them.

Report author Maddy Thimont Jack said the legislation piloted by Labour’s Yvette Cooper to block a No Deal departure was only possible because of an amendment to the ‘meaningful vote’ on Mrs May’s deal.

‘If a new prime minister is set on No Deal, then they have no need for further “meaningful votes”,’ she said.

‘That denies MPs an opportunity to vote to take control of the timetable again.’

Miss Thimont Jack added that although MPs could apply ‘politically important’ pressure by passing motions opposing No Deal in Parliament, the motions ‘would not have legal teeth’.

Boris Johnson is expected to say he is willing to take the UK out of the EU without a deal if Brussels refuses to make major concessions, as is fellow leadership contender Dominic Raab.

Leadership rivals Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom have already said they would be prepared to lead Britain out of the EU without a deal.

But other political experts believe MPs would find a way to prevent any new prime minister leaving with no deal – even if it meant Tory Remainers bringing down the Government.

Professor Sir John Curtice said yesterday that any Tory leader who tried to deliver No Deal would see their government ‘collapse’, with a significant risk that Labour would win the subsequent election.

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