Nick Boles among rebels trying to take control of Brexit
Nick Boles is at the centre of ‘a very British coup’ as he and other Pro-EU Tory rebels seek to seize power over Brexit from the government.
But the MP rejects talk of a ‘coup’, saying his plotters would give control of Brexit policy to parliament.
Yesterday, it emerged that Mr Boles will reveal plans to make a ‘No Deal’ Brexit illegal, and to delay Britain’s departure from the European Union if need be.
Today, such plans were confirmed in an interview with BBC Radio 4 and tweets from Mr Boles shortly afterwards.
The MP said he is working with MPs Nicky Morgan and Oliver Letwin and the trio will release a ‘full briefing’ at 3pm this afternoon.
Mr Boles said: “All of us want to leave the EU on 29th March with a deal and will be voting for the PM’s deal tomorrow.”
“If the PM’s deal is defeated, she will need to bring forward a motion setting out her proposed plan by Monday, January 21. We will move an amendment to that motion and seek cross-party support for it.”
“The principle underpinning our amendment is this: if government doesn’t find a solution to Brexit, Parliament needs to. Our amendment will propose a ‘business of the House’ motion and a short bill.”
“The business of the House motion will propose the temporary suspension of the government’s control of the House of Commons order paper so MPs can debate and vote on all stages of the bill in one sitting day.”
“We would all prefer the PM to bring forward a compromise deal that wins the backing of a majority of MPs. The bill will give her roughly three weeks to do this. If she fails, it will then pass the responsibility to the Liaison Committee.”
“The Liaison Committee brings together the elected chairs of all select committees and the chairs of other parliamentary committees. The bill will ask the Liaison Committee to agree an action plan and put it to the Commons for a vote.”
“If the Commons approves the action plan, ministers will be mandated to implement it. If the Commons rejects the action plan, the Prime Minister will be mandated to ask the EU for an extension to Article 50 and exit day will be deferred.”
“Everything that we propose - the amendment, the business of the House motion, the bill - will be subject to votes in the House of Commons and open to amendment by MPs. So talk of a coup is ludicrous. If the government can’t govern, Parliament must.”
He added: “MPs were elected in 2017. We have a democratic mandate to determine how the 2016 referendum decision should be implemented. It is risible for hardline Brexiteers, self styled champions of parliamentary sovereignty, to say it is illegitimate for MPs to shape Brexit.”
Mr Boles also spoke to yesterday’s Sunday Times about his plans, which headlined their actions as a ‘Very British Coup.’
He told the newspaper he sought to make it illegal for the UK to leave the EU with ‘no deal’.
“We have a mechanism which will give parliament control of the Brexit negotiations and ensure we do not leave the EU without a deal on March 29. To change a law you need to pass a law. I am working on ways to achieve that outcome.”
Senior government sources were quoted in the newspaper as saying “this could be game over for Brexit” and “this sounds like a very British coup and one that has profound implications for democracy.”
Mr Boles tweeted in response: “Apparently I am planning a coup. Odd sort of coup that requires a majority of democratically elected MPs to vote for it before the tanks start rolling…”