A Halloween Brexit will take place “whatever the circumstances”, Downing Street has insisted, as rebel MPs up the rhetoric about blocking the process through a vote of no confidence.
“The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October, whatever the circumstances. There are no ifs or buts,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told journalists this morning.
“We must restore trust in our democracy and fulfill the repeated promises of parliament to the people by coming out of the EU on 31 October. Politicians cannot choose which votes to respect. They promised to respect the referendum result. We must do so.”
“The legal default, as put in place by parliament, is that the UK will leave on 31 October, with or without a deal,” they added.
The spokesman deflected questions about what might happen in the event of a confidence vote, or if parliament voted against a no deal, as threats to derail Johnson’s promise of Brexit “do or die” ratchet up.
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith told City A.M.: “If we don’t leave, there will be a democratic crisis, but there is rapidly becoming a hardcore of people who won’t accept anything… there are some people who will never accept the result of the referendum.”
He slammed would-be rebels as “conniving remainers” who sought to “create problems” by reaching across the Commons to thwart Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promise to leave the EU on 31 October.
Duncan Smith stressed the Fixed-Term Parliament Act gave Johnson more latitude than was generally thought, echoing comments made by Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings over the weekend.
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