LONDON (Reuters) – Fearing Britain would perhaps perhaps maybe fall out of the European Union with out a deal by produce or default, one British lawmaker has threatened to scream Top Minister Boris Johnson his day of Brexit glory by delaying a vote on a final-minute divorce deal.

Just MP Oliver Letwin speaks on the Home of Commons as parliament discusses Brexit, sitting on a Saturday for the first time for the reason that 1982 Falklands Battle, in London, Britain, October 19, 2019, in this show masks rob taken from video. Parliament TV thru REUTERS

Oliver Letwin, 63, is a aged cupboard minister with a recognition as an unofficial fixer, using his affable manner and procedural files to head off awkward disagreements in parliament. Brexit has given him notoriety as a rebellion with a cause: to end a no-deal Brexit.

The first Saturday sitting of parliament for 37 years modified into imagined to frame the approval of Johnson’s EU divorce deal, nonetheless Letwin, expelled by Johnson from the Conservative Birthday party, would perhaps perhaps additionally hold snared the high minister in a legislative booby-trap.

In a sail that indicates the extent of suspected perfidy that runs thru either aspect of the Brexit schism, Letwin proposed a 26-phrase amendment that, he says, gets rid of any probability of a no-deal Brexit by deferring a resolution on Johnson’s deal.

The Letwin amendment doubtlessly turns Johnson’s Brexit finale on its head by leaving the high minister uncovered to a humiliating responsibility to quiz the EU for a prolong until the pause of January 2020.

The rigidity between the two males modified into on show on the bottom of parliament, a nineteenth-century gothic palace.

Fixing his eyes on Letwin, Johnson talked about: “That is a momentous occasion for our country and our parliament, and it’d be a big disgrace if the chance to hold a fundamental vote … were to be taken far off from us.”

Letwin, standing in the debating chamber clutching a sheaf of parliamentary papers, regarded on impassively.

Lawmakers will vote on Letwin’s proposal in a while Saturday. If authorized, Johnson’s deal would perhaps perhaps no longer be voted upon, and he’ll be obliged by a legislation handed by his opponents to put in writing to the EU to request a prolong.


Letwin modified into regarded as one of 21 Conservatives expelled from the get collectively in September for no longer supporting Johnson’s pledge to head away the EU on Oct. 31 with or with out a deal, and he has focused his parliamentary acumen on fighting a no-deal Brexit.

Letwin talked about he helps Johnson’s deal nonetheless wants to terminate a loophole whereby hardline Brexit supporters would perhaps perhaps maybe reinforce the deal on Saturday nonetheless then block the legislation essential to put into effect it, leaving Britain heading in the correct course for a disorderly exit on the pause of the month.

“My aim is to ensure Boris’s deal succeeds, nonetheless that now we hold got an insurance coverage policy which prevents the UK from crashing out on 31 October by mistake if one thing goes incorrect all the design in which thru the passage of the enforcing legislation,” Letwin talked about in a show explaining his proposal.

“Straightforward as that!”

Letwin says parliamentary acclaim for the deal, required in mutter to ratify it, would perhaps perhaps additionally still be withheld until the federal government has handed the legislation essential to put into effect the exit settlement.

The proposal is so unsafe for Johnson because it unites a various fragment of lawmakers who oppose Brexit altogether or desire a 2d referendum with people who reinforce leaving with a deal, nonetheless no longer with out a deal – a coalition that seems at probability of uncover majority reinforce.

Whereas the incentive of the amendment is apprehension of Brexit betrayal, the proposal has stoked a identical mistrust among supporters of Brexit who deem about a verbalize to sink it in a legislative quagmire.

“It’s a wrecking amendment, hiding in the support of the clear veneer of opposing a no-deal final consequence in the hope of giving the Remain Parliament a probability to force thru a 2d referendum,” Conservative Brexit supporter Andrew Bridgen talked about.

Reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper; Enhancing by Man Faulconbridge and Janet Lawrence