Speculation is brewing in Westminster over a move that could throw Theresa May’s Brexit plan into further chaos.
An application for an emergency debate on May’s Brexit extension request is set to be made later Wednesday, CNN has confirmed. If the debate goes ahead and is supported by lawmakers, it would force the Prime Minister to change the wording of her letter to the EU and ask for a longer Brexit extension, rather than a short one.
What this means: The application is set to be made by opposition Labour MP Alison McGovern. Emergency debates can be requested under Standing Order No. 24, or SO24.
If the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, approves the request, a debate and vote would follow on whether to force May’s hand.
The plan would need the support of the Labour front bench for it to succeed. Asked if the party would support the move, a spokesperson told the Press Association: “The Prime Minister should make a statement. If she doesn’t we will support all measures to force a debate in Parliament on this matter.”
If the emergency debate is supported, parliament would take control of the Brexit extension request — but ultimately, whether the requested extension is a long or short one, the final decision on whether to accept it still lies with the EU.