The leaders of the opposition parties have met today and forged their plot to stop the UK leaving the EU on the 31st of October.

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Now, this meeting called by the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, was touted as discussions about stopping a no-deal Brexit on the 31st of October.

But you only have to look at the attendees to realise that this is about stopping the UK leaving the EU under any circumstances, on the 31st of October.

Jeremy Corbyn needs to stop Brexit by extending the Article 50 process, so that he has sufficient time to have his General Election while we are still inside the EU to then allow him to negotiate a Labour led Customs Union Withdrawal Agreement.

All the others want an Article 50 extension purely to give time for a second EU referendum.

Therefore they are all intent on stopping Brexit on the 31st of October – full stop.

As has been said many times before, Jeremy Corbyn wants to go for a quick motion of no confidence in the government and install himself as caretaker PM. But the others aren't playing ball with him on that one – and who can blame them, they want a referendum not an election?

So it seems that this anti-Brexit cabal have come to a shaky agreement to go down the legislative route to try and force the government to extend Article 50 via some legal device, probably a statute law. But leave the no confidence motion in the background as a last resort.

But the question is, how would they get to pass such a Brexit busting law?

Well, the one way most talked about and most likely, is this 'seizing control of the order paper' route. The Order Paper being the business agenda for the House.

Now, this was done recently by Oliver Letwin when Parliament was then, as a result, eventually able to pass the Yvette Cooper bill that forced Theresa May to request an extension from the EU27.

But for those wishing to take control of the Order Paper, they have to be presented with an amendable motion on which they can debate and vote.

They can then submit an amendment that stops government having precedence over House business on a later date and also that a backbench Business of the House motion would have priority instead.

And on that day they would then 'daisy chain' other such dates into existence as they went along until they've passed the legislation they want.

And this is what Letwin did, hence why they're now called 'Letwin Days'.

Anyway, the Remainers do have a serious problem here.

According to a House of Commons Library podcast, there are virtually no opportunities left before October the 31st for a Letwin Day to be forced.

The government has no need to bring forward amendable motions at the moment and it does not have to put any back bench MPs motions on the order paper.

Even an emergency motion is deemed unamendable as it would just ask the House to consider a matter, not form a view by voting.

And the government can fill the order paper up with lots of voteless debates and discussions, while the Remainer MPs sit on their hands on the Green Benches and seethe!

It seems therefore that the only route these Remainer MPs have, is finding some ancient arcane law that's still in force, or hope that the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, can once again use his imagination to 're-interpret' the House of Commons Standing Orders.

And I'm sure there will also be attempts at a few Humble Addresses to Her Majesty.

But even if they do manage to get control of the Order Paper, the Remainers will all agree on extending Article 50 – but they also need a defined reason, something the EU has been very clear on and not something at all in evidence – so that requirement will probably scupper them anyway.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49483374

Taking control of the order paper

https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/debates/application-for-emergency-debates/

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