Today will see politicians re-enter the Houses of Parliament for the first time since they decided to take their summer holidays six weeks ago. And it's not going to be pretty.

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MPs may return after a long break, but quite a few of them will not be as rested as others, because they spent most of it working towards the reversal of Brexit.

And part of the fruits of their work is the draft bill that the likes of Labour MP Hilary Benn, Tory MPs Philip Hammond and David Gauke, the Lib Dem Tom Brake, Caroline Lucas of the Green Party and former Tory Nick Boles have come up with.

This bill, the EU (Withdrawal) (No6) Bill, is an attempt at micromanaging government action via legislation, through the remainder of the Brexit negotiations.

This has rightly drawn a lot of outraged concern from Brexiteers as its aim is obviously to force the government to accept anything the EU deigns to offer.

But the Remainers can't just present this to the House and say let's debate, vote and cancel Brexit.

They first have to get a motion properly moved in order to do that.

And right on cue, Remainer MPs have presented an application for an emergency debate with the name of Sir Oliver Letwin right at the top of the applicants.

And the motion they are asking does not seem to be a properly neutral one to me.

The drafters want a vote that:

"The House has considered the matter of the need to take all necessary steps to ensure that the United Kingdom does not leave the European Union on the 31st of October without a withdrawal agreement and accordingly makes provision as set out in this order."

That way they can get the EU (Withdrawal) (No6) Bill onto the Commons order paper and start the rushed process to get it to Royal Assent before parliament is prorogued, maybe as early as next Monday.

So I personally see this getting the Bercow green light so as to reject Brexit.

But the opportunity to do this may not present itself until much later today, so time is still against the Remain MPs.

But if they were able to force this debate, then it looks like the Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tomorrow, Wednesday, be offering the House a vote on having a General Election as early as the 14th of October.

And if MPs turn that offer down, they still have to get that bill through the house and many MPs will, or should, baulk at the idea of voting for a bill that so glaringly hands the reins of government over to the EU.

It also states that the UK government must agree to any extension offered by the EU, with the only stipulation being that the House of Commons might get a couple days to refuse it – as if!

That bill takes away any need for the EU to negotiate with the UK government – at all. And that is the Remainer intention – get the EU to say nothing's changed then MPs vote anything else down, so forcing the government to go and get an extension – whatever the demands made by the EU!

The Remainers are doing what they always do best – handing over UK sovereignty to the Eurocrats.

But there is a potentially fatal flaw in it.

The bill is so tightly worded that it leaves no real scope for the government to exercise its Royal Prerogative where treaties are concerned and writing in the Brexit section of the LSE website, Robert Craig said that this could give the government the scope to have it struck down at the third reading in the House of Commons.

This is because where a bill conflicts with the Royal Prerogative, a thing called Royal Consent, not assent, Royal Consent must be positively signalled by the government and if it is not then the bill falls.

In his piece Craig says:

"The proponents of a new Bill to prevent No Deal are caught on the horns of a dilemma. If they draft a Bill that only mandates the PM to seek an extension, the PM would be left free to refuse to agree or accept any extension in negotiations with the EU27.

"If, by contrast, MPs try to impose a requirement, by any method, that the PM agree or accept any new exit date from the EU27, Commons procedural rules mean that the government would be required formally to approve the Bill by affirming 'Queen's Consent' to the Bill at the Third Reading stage."

And it looks to me, from the wording of the bill, that they are trying to impose a requirement, because it says that the Prime Minister 'must' accept any offer to extend.

But the draft bill does I think try to get round this by saying the PM can agree another period with the EU, if he wants.

But it does tell Boris to agree an extension unless the House agrees a deal or accepts no deal.

But all that would be for the lawyers in the Commons to decide.

Oh, and Jeremy Corbyn it seems may not now be so keen on a general election anyway. Yesterday he came out of his shadow cabinet meeting saying he was ready for one, but now it seems his feet are getting a bit cold when an offer of one actually looks to be close.

But in the final analysis, the Brexit vote from 2016 was nowhere near as divisive as Bercow's decision could potentially end up being later today!

Sources:

https://news.sky.com/story/live-mps-prepare-to-launch-efforts-to-block-no-deal-brexit-11801143

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1168560598650621953.html

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/09/full-list-the-tory-mps-rebelling-against-the-government/

Proponents of the new Bill to stop No Deal face a significant dilemma over Queen's Consent

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