Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to recall Parliament over Brexit

Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to recall Parliament and bring MPs back from their summer holidays early as John McDonnell backs the plan amid rising fear of a No Deal Brexit

  • More than 100 MPs write to Boris Johnson demanding Parliament be recalled
  • John McDonnell backs the calls and says MPs should return in ‘next few days’
  • CBI chief claims No Deal impact would be ‘really significant for UK economy’
  • Mr Johnson doubles down on his October 31 ‘do or die’ Brexit promise 



Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure from MPs to recall Parliament as fears continue to rise about the damage a No Deal Brexit could do to the UK economy.

The Prime Minister has again asserted that he will deliver on his commitment to leave the European Union on October 31 as his allies sought to play down a confidential Whitehall dossier which detailed the problems posed by a No Deal scenario.

But the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said it was impossible to be fully prepared for the disruption that would occur following the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

And shadow chancellor John McDonnell this morning formally threw Labour’s weight behind demands for Mr Johnson to cut short Parliament’s summer recess to face MPs at Westminster.

The House of Commons is not due to return until September 3. 

But more than 100 MPs have signed a letter demanding Mr Johnson recall Parliament now so that they can scrutinise the government’s Brexit plans amid growing fears the UK will split from Brussels without an agreement 

Mr Johnson used a Twitter post to repeat his message that the UK would ‘leave the EU on October 31st, invest more money in the NHS and crack down on violent crime’.

He is expected to use his first foreign visits later this week to spell out his commitment to the Halloween deadline in talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris ahead of the G7 summit in Biarritz at the weekend.

John McDonnell, pictured this morning, said Labour backed calls to recall Parliament to allow MPs to scrutinise the government’s Brexit plans

Boris Johnson, pictured last week at a visit to HMP Leeds, has reiterated his commitment to taking Britain out of the EU on October 31 but he is under growing pressure to cut short MPs’ summer holidays

The Prime Minister faced calls to step up efforts to secure a Brexit agreement after the risks posed by a No Deal outcome were outlined in Operation Yellowhammer documents – the Whitehall code-name for No Deal preparations –  obtained by the Sunday Times.

They warned that Britain will be hit with a three-month ‘meltdown’ at its ports, a hard Irish border and shortages of food and medicine if the UK leaves without an agreement.

CBI director-general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I think we can be prepared, we should be prepared, but I don’t think that takes away from the fact that what Yellowhammer shows, and I think what businesses have been saying for three years, is that the cost will be really significant for our economy and for jobs and that a deal is the number one priority.’

Mr McDonnell said Labour wanted to see Parliament reconvened ‘in the next few days’ to drive efforts to avoid a No Deal Brexit as he backed the letter sent by MPs. 

‘There is a need now to bring MPs back together again because we need time now to really have a proper debate and discussion about this matter,’ he told Today.

No Deal planning supremo Michael Gove played down Operation Yellowhammer, suggesting the document was out of date, and Number 10 insiders sought to blame disgruntled ex-ministers for the leak.

According to the documents, petrol import tariffs would ‘inadvertently’ lead to the closure of two oil refineries, while protests across the UK could ‘require significant amounts of police resources’ in a no-deal scenario.

But a Number 10 source said: ‘It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders.

‘Those obstructing preparation are no longer in Government, £2 billion of extra funding (has been) already made available, and Whitehall has been stood up to actually do the work through the daily ministerial meetings.

‘The entire posture of Government has changed.’

Mr Gove insisted Yellowhammer represented a ‘worst-case scenario’ and said ‘significant’ steps have been taken in the last three weeks to accelerate Brexit planning.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reported that up to 40 Tory MPs are backing a bid led by former Cabinet ministers Philip Hammond and David Gauke to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Last week the former chancellor and 20 other senior Tories were said to have written to the PM to say his demands to abolish the backstop ‘set the bar so high that there is no realistic probability of a deal being done’.

Amid speculation that the Government is preparing for an election owing to the Brexit crisis, Jeremy Corbyn will use a speech on Monday to say such a vote would provide a ‘once-in-a-generation chance’ for a change of direction in politics.

On a visit to Northamptonshire, the Labour leader will set out his vision to rebuild Britain and vow to do ‘everything necessary’ to prevent a no-deal exit.

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