LONDON (AP) — The UK Labour Party’s chief Brexit adviser says opposition plans to block a “no-deal” Brexit will require another extension to Article 50 so the Oct. 31 deadline doesn’t take effect.
Keir Starmer told the BBC on Sunday that the legislation to be introduced in Parliament will focus on an extension of the deadline to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson from leaving the European Union without a deal.
He says the length of the extension is “secondary” because the top priority is preventing a disorderly departure on Oct. 31.
Current plans call for Britain to leave the EU on that date unless Britain formally asks for an extension and each of the bloc’s other 27 nations agree.
Britain’s Parliament only has a short time to deal with the situation. Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to suspend Parliament for part of the time during the run-up to the Brexit deadline.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove, who is heading up “no-deal” preparations, declined Sunday to commit the government to following Parliament’s lead. Asked if the government would adhere to legislation that might be passed that would block a disorderly exit, he said only: “Let’s see what the legislation says.”
He said he would “wait to see” the details of any opposition plan.
Johnson and his top advisers are planning to meet with recalcitrant legislators from his own Conservative Party to try to keep them from supporting the opposition’s efforts to prevent “no-deal.”
The issue is expected to dominate debate when Parliament convenes Tuesday after a lengthy summer recess.