Brexit reversal: Remainers could block Brexit even after October 31 - ‘Will of the people’

With less than three months to go, the general assumption is that time is running out to stop the UK leaving the bloc in the autumn, on terms if necessary. However, , research professor at the Centre for British Politics and Government at Kings College London, said the story might not even end there. He told Politico: “I don’t believe an election in November could frustrate a Remain or anti- position. 

“It is true the default position in Britain and the EU is that we leave on October 31.

“But the British parliament is sovereign so it can pass retrospective legislation, and it did for example with the War Crimes Act of 1991. Parliament could deem we hadn’t left and seek an extension.”

Nor did Mr Bogdanor anticipate much opposition from Brussels if MPs did opt for such a course of action.

He added: “The is governed by treaties, it is true, and people say the EU is a law-bound institution, but the EU gets around a treaty when it wants to.

Vernon Bogdanor Boris Johnson

Vernon Bogdanor suggested MPs may try to reverse Brexit after October 31 (Image: GETTY/BBC)

Steve Baker

Steve Baker has described the issue as "totemic" (Image: GETTY)

“For example, the eurozone treaty says you can’t leave the eurozone, but Greece very nearly did.

“Suppose a Remain government returned, the Lib Dems got a majority in November.

“The EU wouldn’t say you have to apply again under , it would be ludicrous, they would say that is the will of the British people of course we would get around the treaty.

“The lawyers say I’m talking nonsense but the EU is often rigid in theory, but very flexible in practice.”


Vernon Bogdanor David Cameron

Vernon Bogdanor speaks to David Cameron in 2009 (Image: PA)

The European Union Act, introduced by then-Brexit Secretary on July 13, 2017, makes provision for the repealing of the 1972 Act on the day when Britain leaves the bloc.

The date was initially defined as March 29, but later pushed back to October 31, the current deadline.

However, Mr Bogdanor stressed despite this fact, Parliament was “sovereign” and technically would have the power to reverse the decision.

At that point  see the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which Parliament ratified last September by 36 votes, come into force.

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Sir Bill Cash

Sir Bill Cash backed the repeal of the legislation (Image: GETTY)

Dominic Grieve

Dominic Grieve has said MPs will continue to try to block a no-deal outcome (Image: GETTY)

Speaking to The Times, , vice-chairman of the Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG), said: “It is absolutely totemic.

“It shows a transformation in the approach, that Boris Johnson is willing to leave on a fixed date with no question of extension.

“It’s the do-or-die pledge in black and white.

Brexit impact

The impact Brexit will have on EU member states (Image: Daily Express)

“It’s not merely symbolic. Once it’s signed that’s it, the UK is leaving.

“Theresa May did not bring the repeal of the European Communities Act on a fixed date because she was always willing to extend.”

Fellow Tory MP and ERG member said: “It’s well overdue. It provides for the full repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 on exit day; it is the law of the land.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has vowed to take the UK out of the EU by October 31 (Image: PA)

“It is the ultimate completion of the withdrawal from the European Union in statute. It’s not symbolic, it is definitive in law.”

Nevertheless, Tory Remainer has insisted MPs could reverse the order to block a no-deal Brexit.

He added: “It is Boris showing he is serious about his intention to leave the EU on October 31.

“At the end of the day it is a matter for the majority of the House.”

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