News World British PM devises ‘plan to stop Brexit extension’
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British PM devises ‘plan to stop Brexit extension’

Boris Johnson has been hit by a counteroffensive of rebel Conservatives and opposition MPs. Photo: UK Parliament
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is preparing a plan to legally stop any Brexit extension, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports.

Mr Johnson’s advisers met on Sunday at Chevening, the Foreign Secretary’s country residence, to device a counter strategy to stop the parliament enforcing a three-month Brexit extension if no new deal with the EU is agreed, the newspaper reported.

According to the report, the plan would involve Mr Johnson sending a letter – alongside the request to extend Article 50 – setting out that the government wants no delays to Brexit after October 31.

Mr Johnson is also expected to ramp up the pressure on MPs to back a snap general election or face weeks of watching the EU negotiations from the sidelines.

The PM could prorogue parliament as early as Monday – but he will give MPs another vote on a snap election first. Under British law, two-thirds of MPs must agree to an early election being called.

Downing Street has until Thursday to suspend parliament.

The opposition-driven law that would extend the Brexit deadline until January 2020 is expected to receive royal assent on Monday.

But MPs would be thrown out of parliament almost immediately after that and face a nervous wait to see whether Mr Johnson will obey the legislation.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has warned the PM about the “importance of the rule of law” following hints that Mr Johnson might be tempted to break the law to deliver Brexit by Halloween. In response, Downing Street looked to step up its push for an election.

Elsewhere, France has suggested it could veto the Brexit extension, with its Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, saying: “We are not going to do this (extend the deadline) every three months.”

On Sunday, Mr Johnson and his closest aides, understood to have included chief strategist Dominic Cummings, met to nut out a plan for the week.

The Telegraph quoted a Downing Street source who said Monday would be the final opportunity for MPs to stop the no-deal.

Meanwhile, 21 Tories who were sacked last week are threatening legal action over Mr Johnson’s refusal to seek a no-deal Brexit delay.

In a further blow to Mr Johnson, senior Conservative minister Amber Rudd resigned at the weekend, accusing the Prime Minister of an assault on democracy.

-with AAP