PM's confidence rises

Johnson poised for Brexit victory with majority of five

Boris Johnson and Ian Blackford

The Prime Minister will make another attempt to get his deal through

Boris Johnson is preparing for another showdown with MPs opposed to his Brexit deal amid growing confidence that he has enough support to win a Commons vote.

Sources say he is poised to get the Withdrawal Agreement through with a majority of five and that he can usher through legislation to ensure Britain leaves the EU on 31 October.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We appear to have the numbers to get it through.”

EU leaders are considering an official request to delay Brexit for three months, as demanded by the Benn Act.

However, Mr Johnson also wrote to the EU leaders advising them to ignore the request and insisting he would not negotiate a delay or a new deal. Opponents accused him of “childish” behaviour, but supporters say he has stuck to the letter of the law.

EU leaders, in turn, are watching events at Westminster. If Mr Johnson gets his deal through parliament then an extension will be seen as unnecessary. If he fails, they may grant an extension to February.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit Secretary, said the Labour party could support the deal if it is linked to a second referendum, effectively giving the public a final say.

But Mr Johnson and his front bench are firmly opposed to a second vote and are unlikely to yield to Labour pressure.

Markets are expecting a period of volatility and some banks have pulled in more staff.

Sterling opened lower in Asia trading. However, strategists say rising confidence that a disorderly exit from the European Union will be avoided should limit any sell-off.

Sterling opened down 0.6% at $1.2915, after closing just below the $1.30 mark on Friday. It also fell 0.2% against the euro.

At noon on Monday Scotland’s Supreme Court will consider the ongoing legal action designed to ensure the Prime Minister complies with the Benn Act. 

Commenting ahead of proceedings, SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, said: “Of course he is not renowned for keeping his word.

“The court will want to know what has happened and our legal team are instructed to update them fully.”

Speaking later in a TV interview, she said she would be asking the court for a delay.

“What I and … the other petitioners have instructed our
lawyers to do is to seek a continuation of the case until the
end of the week to keep a watching brief over matters,” she said.

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