Johnson ‘will collapse government’ if EU refuse new deal and force election – Today News

 Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to collapse his government in a last ditch bid to force a General Election  The PM will demand that the entire Cabinet resigns with him on Friday, October 18 if the EU will not give him a Brexit deal  Mr Johnson is gambling on Jeremy Corbyn being unable to form a temporary government within the 14 days required by law  That means Britain would have to trudge to the polls in the depths of December.  And although Mr Johnson, whose party conference kicks off in Manchester on Sunday, would quit as PM he would stay Tory leader so he could fight the election  But as the chaos would cover October 31, when Britain is due to leave the EU, MPs including Tory Dominic Grieve and Labour’s Hilary Benn are determined to get a three-month extension to stop us crashing out with no deal  If Mr Johnson has resigned as PM he will not have to write the letter asking for delay required by law  And that means Commons Speaker John Bercow would do it instead, postponing Brexit until January 31  A Westminster source said: “We say the Speaker is constitutionally entitled to do this with Parliament’s support ”  The crunch comes when Mr Johnson faces the EU Council at a two day summit on October 17 and 18  MPs have ordered him to either come up with a deal or ask for an extension. Mr Johnson says the UK will leave the EU on October 31 do or die, with no more delay under any circumstances  His own civil servants would put him on the spot by either resigning or demanding a public declaration that they were ordered to be lawbreakers  Ex-Civil Service head Lord Bob Kerslake said: “If I had been asked to act in an unlawful way I would make them say I was directed to do so  “But the fact the PM lost so heavily in the Supreme Court makes it less likely he’d chance his arm again ”  Mark Serwotka, head of civil service union PCS, added: “We have raised this issue with the Cabinet Office and they recognise there is a potential problem with civil servants breaking the law It’s a deplorable situation.”  The PM is instead trying to find loopholes which would allow him to legally refuse to ask for an extension  One ruse would be to use EU law to trump the “no to no-deal” legislation put forward by Mr Benn and passed by MPs  Another, uncovered by ex-Tory PM Sir John Major, is to get Cabinet ministers in their role as Privy Councillors to suspend the Benn Act until after Brexit  But critics say such a move is insulting to the Queen because the Privy Council answers to the Crown  Constitutionalist David Rogers said: “Any minister who did that should be thrown out of the Privy Council for breaking the oath they took to belong to it in the first place ”  The SNP now want Labour to join them in seeking a no confidence vote this week while the Tories are away  They are prepared to accept Jeremy Corbyn as interim PM.  The SNP’s Stewart Hosie told Radio 4: “There is now no confidence that the PM will obey the law and seek the extension Parliament voted for ”  Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson is opposed to giving the Labour leader the keys to No10, even temporarily  A Labour source said only: “Discussions continue on a range of options.”

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