MPs have been sent a briefing from Number 10, instructing them to stand with the government instead of what it dubs “Corbyn’s Surrender Bill”.
The email, which has been seen by City A.M., says voting with the opposition over the next two days “would force total surrender – the Prime Minister would have to accept any terms Brussels demands.
“It also means endless delays – perhaps the permanent cancellation of Brexit. It is a shameful document.”
The Benn-Burt bill, which was published yesterday, is expected to be debated tomorrow if enough MPs back a standing order that is due to be debated this evening.
A vote is expected at around 9pm this evening. If it is passed, that will give backbenchers control over parliamentary proceedings for long enough to debate and potentially pass this bill before being prorogued next week.
The Benn-Burt bill would then force Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek an extension to Article 50 if he fails to secure parliamentary approval, either for a deal or no deal, by 19 October.
But the government claims it would bind Johnson’s hands.
“Rather than giving the Prime Minister a chance to negotiate a better deal that could secure the approval of Parliament, this is about crippling negotiations, indefinite delay and, ultimately, cancelling the referendum,” the document claims.