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Boris Johnson to expel MPs who block 'no-deal Brexit'

September 2, 2019

The UK Parliament is set for heated debate when it reconvenes on Tuesday. Rebel MPs and opposition are running out of time to prevent Britain crashing out of the European Union without a divorce deal.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Image: Reuters/D. Martinez

Downing Street repeatedly briefed the media on Monday that Boris Johnson had threatened rebel lawmakers who try to scupper a no-deal Brexit with expulsion from the governing Conservative party. 

He also canceled a planned meeting with Conservative MPs opposed to leaving the bloc without a negotiated settlement. A cabinet meeting was expected to take place later this afternoon. 

Johnson has vowed to deliver Brexit on October 31 "deal or no deal."

'Authoritarian power grab'

Parliament is bracing for a showdown when it meets for the first time after the summer recess on Tuesday. 

Opposition lawmakers aim to pass a law demanding the government either negotiate a new divorce deal with the EU, or request a Brexit extension beyond the October 31 deadline.

However, they have just days to do so. Johnson last week announced Parliament would be suspended for over a month after it reconvenes.

"It seems Boris Johnson will stop at nothing to implement his anti-democratic shutdown of parliament and force a disastrous No Deal on the British people," Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson tweeted.

Her party was working with others "on emergency legislation to stop this authoritarian power grab."

Leader of the opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, said his party was "working with other parties to do everything necessary to pull our country back from the brink." He did not offer further details, however lunchtime Monday he indicated that "you will get a fair idea of what is being proposed in Parliament on a no-deal Brexit in about 28 hours." 

Multiple unconfirmed reports suggested lawmakers could be asked to vote on a general election before the end of October. 

The government of Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May, spent two years negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement with Brussels as the first step in an orderly exit process, but the British Parliament has failed to ratify it on three occasions.

Boris Johnson's spokesman said on Monday that it would be "entirely unreasonable" for lawmakers to try to "bind the hands of the prime minister" as he seeks a new Brexit deal with the European Union.

Read more: Brexit: Boris Johnson's opponents unite in wake of Parliament shutdown

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kw/rt (dpa, Reuters)