Iain Dale was startled after caller John put forward an “ingenious” proposal he claimed would help Boris Johnson put an end to the debate in Parliament and help deliver Brexit. The caller from Rayleigh suggested the Prime Minister could revoke Article 50 in order to hold a general election before once again triggering the mechanism to leave the European Union shortly after. John suggested the move would help Mr Johnson bypass limitations Parliament imposed with a new legislation aimed at preventing a no deal Brexit happening.
Speaking to the LBC presenter, John said: “If I were Boris, you know what I’d do? I’d revoke Article 50, that would remove the need to ask for an extension.
“I’d then engineer an election, hopefully, get a large enough majority to revoke Article 50 again and say we’re leaving the next day or the next week.”
Mr Dale appeared surprised about the suggestion, saying no one else appeared to have put it forward before but questioning whether the UK would be able to avoid entering another two years of negotiations with the EU under the scenario proposed.
But John pointed out the two-year deadline included in Article 50 is “the maximum time” an EU member state is given to negotiate its withdrawal from the bloc.
Brexit news: Iain Dale said the Government should consider a
Brexit news: Iain Dale told John his proposal was “ingenious” and could work
After the explanation, Mr Dale suggested Number 10 should offer John a “peerage” for his proposal.
The LBC host said: “That’s an original one. I don’t think I’ve heard that one before and I’m racking my brain about an immediate reason why that couldn’t actually work and why that wouldn’t comply with the law that’s just been passed but I have to say, I can’t.
“If there’s anyone in 10 Downing Street listening, John – Theresa May has got her resignation honour list up at midnight. If there’s anyone up at Downing Street listening to you, I think you might deserve a peerage for getting them out of a hole with that suggestion.
“Unless somebody rings in and tells me why John’s suggestion wouldn’t be a good one or at least a practical one – I don’t know whether it is good or bad but it sounds to me as if that could be a possibility.”
Brexit news: Boris Johnson said he will not ask for a new extension until 2020
The Queen on Monday gave her assent to a new legislation devised by the Opposition and rebel Tory MPs seeking to force the Prime Minister into asking for a new extension of the withdrawal process.
The new act will require Boris Johnson to ask for a postponement until January 2020 unless the British Government and Brussels reach an agreement at the next EU Summit scheduled for October 17.
Mr Johnson, who insisted he will see Brexit through without further delays, said he will not abide by the request of Parliament and ask for a new extension in spite of the act.
The Prime Minister said on Tuesday he would not request an extension to the Brexit deadline of October 31, hours after a law came into force demanding that he delay Britain’s departure from the EU until 2020 unless he can strike a divorce deal.
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Brexit news: In the event of a new delay the UK would have to negotiate with a new Commission
Mr Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings also insisted the UK will leave the European Union on time as he told reporters they should get outside London and speak to people who are not “rich remainers”.
When asked what his next move would be on Brexit, Cummings told Reuters: “You guys should get outside London and go to talk to people who are not rich remainers.”
Asked if the United Kingdom would leave on time, he said: “Sure”.
But despite MPs hoping to obtain a delay, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said he would prefer to know for what purpose before agreeing to concede it.
Mr Bettell said: “If there’s a reason for a delay I’ll accept, but I still have no reason, I still have no clue what they want.
“It’s not on me to say that they have to do this and this to get a new delay, they have to tell us why they need a new delay, and then I’ll exchange views with my colleagues” in the European Council.
“A no-deal Brexit is “the scenario I don’t want, but time is ticking.”