Boris Johnson's crunch options ahead of 48 hour battle for Brexit

BORIS Johnson faces the fight of his life now to deliver Brexit on October 31 after MPs took control of Parliament last night.

The PM will embark on a huge battle to make sure he can continue with his Brexit blueprint despite Jeremy Corbyn's attempt to throw him off course.


Boris first route of action today will be to try and throw a spanner in the works of the bill that is set to debated in the Commons today.

Tory Peers have already tabled 90 amendments just to the schedule today – which will delay its progress.

They could do the same thing when the Bill comes to the House of Lords tomorrow, tapping on hundreds of changes to slow things down.


Another option is to delay it by spending as much time talking the bill out as possible.

Boris is set to shut down Parliament next week, meaning anything which isn't passed through the Commons and the Lords will not become law.

They would have to start all over again when Parliament comes back after the break, instead.

If Tories and pro-Brexit Lords can talk it out in the Lords, they would have less of a chance of getting it through.

Peers are already bracing themselves for a mammoth session which could run through the night.

One Lib Dem peer, Dick Newby, tweeted this morning: "Arriving in Lords with duvet, change of clothes and shaving kit. Could take us a while to see off 86 wrecking amendments on timetable motion today/tomorrow."


If it does manage to get through the Lords, then Boris could try and stop it from becoming law.

That only happens when the Queen rubber stamps it and gives it Royal Assent.

Traditionally bills are bundled together and put on Her Majesty's desk when there's a few to sign – as not to bother her too much.

And the Government chooses when to do this.

Boris could not put the bill forward for Royal Assent and wait until Parliament is prorogued.

But one source told The Times: "It is so subversive of every constitutional norm. It would be incredibly irresponsible".


In the event Boris couldn't stop the law and was forced to ask Brussels for an extension, there's still no guarantee they would accept it.

EU bosses have insisted they will only give us one if we have a second referendum or an election, in an attempt to finally break the Brexit deadlock.

If, later on down the line, Boris is forced to go cap in hand to the EU, he could try and persuade one of his allies in the EU to try and veto it.

It needs all of the member states to agree before an extension is granted.



But at the same time No10 could decide that trying to halt the Bill is pointless when they could stop it later on by calling an election and win.

If Boris lets the bill go through Labour are then poised to vote for an early election.

If he wins the snap vote he would still have time to repeal the law later on down the line, with (hopefully) a majority to push the vote through later.

He needs two thirds of MPs to push this through, however. If Labour decide to vote against it later today, it doesn't have a chance.


If Boris wants to call an early election then he has to get two thirds of MPs to back him.

But there is another, more complicated way.

The Government can propose a simple "one-line bill" which states there will be a general election despite the Fixed Term Parliaments' Act.

If that were to pass, it would only need the support of half of MPs.

That would still be pretty difficult for Boris, given that he just got rid of 21 of his own Tories last night, weakening his position even further.


There are other ways that Boris can force an election if he doesn't get one today as he is planning.

The PM could call a vote of no confidence in himself instead and challenge Jeremy Corbyn to try and form a Government.

After weeks of squabbling and infighting it's unlikely that they would succeed in the 14-day window they have to try and get a majority in the Commons.

After that an election is automatically called – and the sitting PM will choose the date.

He could choose one for before Brexit as he's planned to try and get a deal.

Or he could take Britain out without a deal on October 31 by calling an election afterwards.

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