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News | Published October 09 2019

Parliament to meet for special Brexit sitting

Parliament is set to meet for a special Saturday sitting on October 19 to discuss the future of Brexit.

MPs will sit after a crunch EU summit that is seen as the last chance for both sides to agree a deal before the October 31 deadline.

It will be the only fifth time since 1939 that parliament has met on a Saturday.

If a deal is agreed, MPs will be asked for their approval, but a range of other options, including leaving without a deal or halting Brexit altogether, could be presented by Boris Johnson if there is no agreement during the summit.

Parliament has already expressed a view on what should happen if a deal is not agreed by October 19, with opposition MPs and rebel Conservatives passing the so-called "Benn Act" requiring the prime minister to seek an extension.

But Mr Johnson has continuously said the UK will leave the EU on October 31, adding he’d rather be "dead in a ditch" than request another extension.

Talks with the EU reportedly hit a low point this week after Mr Johnson bought forward a Brexit plan to get around the contentious Irish backstop.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, said it would be “very difficult” to secure a deal based on the plans.

A call between Johnson and German chancellor, Angela Merkel, also ended in disagreement yesterday, with Merkel reportedly saying that a deal based on Johnson's proposals was “overwhelmingly unlikely”.

After details of the call were leaked to journalists, European Council president Donald Tusk extraordinarily took to Twitter and accused Mr Johnson of playing a “stupid blame game”.

The last time the Commons sat on a Saturday was during the Falkland Islands invasion in April 1982.

Before that, parliament sat on the 3rd of November 1956 during the Suez Crises.

Talks are ongoing between the UK and EU's negotiating teams ahead of the summit on 17 and 18 October, but it’s currently unclear if a deal can be reached in time.


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Authored by

Joshua Sandiford
Contributor
@theparlreview
October 09 2019

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