Boris Johnson and his advisers are reportedly ready to tell the Queen she cannot sack him even if he loses a no-confidence vote in the Commons later this month – a plan ridiculed by lawyers and historians.
It comes as the Court of Session in Scotland decides this morning whether a clerk or another government official can sign and send a Brexit extension letter on the prime minister’s behalf if he refuses to do so.
With talks in Brussels thought to be close to collapse, Mr Johnson spoke to his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar over the phone on Tuesday night and the pair are expected to meet in person later this week.
Boris Johnson spoke to his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar over the phone on Tuesday night and the pair are set to meet in person later this week, according to Downing Street.
The British prime minister may be keen to be seen trying to “rescue” his Brexit deal, but there doesn’t appear to be anything left to rescue after the mood music turned extremely sour in the past 24 hours.
While European Council president Donald Tusk accused Johnson of launching a “stupid blame game”, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said that any blame for a no-deal Brexit would lie “in the British camp”.
Juncker warned: “A Brexit without an agreement would lead to a collapse of the United Kingdom.”
More details here.
Leave.EU has made a rare apology for a tweet the organisation posted which showed a picture of Angela Merkel with the words: “We didn’t win two world wars to be pushed around by a Kraut.”
Co-founder Arron Banks admitted it “went too far”.
The Queen may need to prepare herself for more madness ahead. Boris Johnson and his advisers are reportedly ready to tell Her Majesty she cannot actually sack him even if he loses a no-confidence vote in the Commons later this month.
According to The Sun, the belief is based upon the “Lascelles Principles” that the monarch must follow the PM’s advice. Fans of Netflix’s The Crown will be well aware of the stern, moustachioed Tommy Lascelles – who drew up the principles back in 1950.
But lawyers and historians have already ridiculed the idea and claimed No 10 does not understand the principles, nor the constitution. Royal historian Professor Kate Williams said No 10 had “lost it”.
Leo Varadkar said negotiating a new Brexit agreement by the crucial EU summit will be “very difficult” in his latest interview.
Varadkar said Ireland and the EU would not accept an agreement at “any cost”.
“There are some fundamental objectives that haven’t changed for the past three years and we need them guaranteed,” he told RTE news.
“I think it is going to be very difficult to secure an agreement by next week, quite frankly.
Essentially what the United Kingdom has done is repudiate the deal that we negotiated in good faith with Prime Minister (Theresa) May’s government over two years and sort of put half of that now back on the table and are saying, ‘That’s a concession’. And of course it isn’t really.”
Asked if the blame game language was turning “toxic”, Varadkar said: “I think it is, from some quarters, but you know I don’t play dirty.”
Boris Johnson also hosted European Parliament president David Sassoli in Downing Street on Tuesday evening, but the MEP left saying “no progress” had been made.
Sassoli later told the BBC’s Newsnight programme: “Angela Merkel’s opinions must be taken seriously. We are all very worried because there are only a few days left. Because we understand that going out without an agreement leads to having a real problem, if not a real catastrophe.”
He also claimed Johnson told him he did not want any extension to Article 50.
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