Tuesday 8 October 2019 10:14 am

Heidi Allen: Legal attempt to force Brexit extension is 'watertight' - despite Johnson's plans to 'scupper' it

Boris Johnson’s plan to get around a law which delays Brexit past 31 October is going to fail, according to the latest MP to join the Lib Dems, Heidi Allen.

Allen, a former Tory MP who announced she had joined the Lib Dems last night, said the Benn act was legally watertight.

Read more: Ex-Tory MP Heidi Allen joins Liberal Democrats

The act was passed last month, and looks to stop the Prime Minister from taking Britain out of the EU without a deal at the end of October if he can not strike one with the bloc by then.

Instead, it looks to force him to ask the EU for another extension to negotiate a deal.

But a Downing Street source told the Spectator last night the PM had received legal advice that he could do “all sorts of things to scupper delay [the Benn act]”.

Last month City A.M. revealed that one favoured option is to invoke EU law, which ministers believe trumps British law.

However, Allen told Sky News this morning: “Despite all the clever words of Boris Johnson, legally we feel that is absolutely watertight.”

Allen, a staunch remain supporter, has followed three former Tory colleagues to join the Lib Dems, after Sarah Wollaston, Philip Lee and Sam Gyimah joined the pro-Remain party. 

Former Labour MPs Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith and Luciana Berger also joined the Lib Dems in recent months.

She headed up a new Change UK party before quitting in June after its poor performance European elections to build a “Remain Alliance” of anti-Brexit independent MPs.  

Read more: Downing Street: Anti-Brexit countries will ‘go to bottom of queue’ in future talks

Allen said this morning she would fight the Conservatives in her South Cambridgeshire constituency.

“It’s time now for me to look at how to best represent my constituents who are very heavily remain.”

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