Brexit: Bill designed to stop no-deal ‘will clear Lords’
The government has said a bill to stop a no-deal Brexit will complete its passage through the Lords on Friday.
The proposed legislation was passed by MPs on Wednesday, inflicting a defeat on Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
There were claims pro-Brexit peers could deliberately hold up the bill so it could not get royal assent before Parliament is prorogued next week.
Following Wednesday’s votes, No 10 said the public will get to choose between a deal, no deal, or “more delay”.
Downing Street said the prime minister will deliver an address later setting out the “vital choice that faces our country”.
“It is clear the only action is to go back to the people and give them the opportunity to decide what they want: Boris to go to Brussels and get a deal, or leave without one on 31 October or Jeremy Corbyn arriving in Brussels with his surrender bill begging for more delay, more dither and accepting whatever terms Brussels imposes over our nation,” the spokesperson said.
Mr Johnson’s addess comes after the Conservative chief whip in the Lords announced a breakthrough on the bill in the early hours after talks with Labour.
The peers sat until 01:30 BST, holding a series of amendment votes that appeared to support predictions a marathon filibuster session – designed to derail the bill – was under way.
But then Lord Ashton of Hyde announced that all stages of the bill would be completed in the Lords by 17:00 BST on Friday.
He added that the Commons chief whip had also given a commitment that MPs will consider any Lords amendments on Monday and that the government intends that the “bill will be ready” to be presented for royal assent.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn previously said his party required the bill to gain royal assent before it would consider backing Mr Johnson’s call for a general election.
Baroness Smith, Labour leader in the House of Lords, confirmed the opposition supported the move in the Lords overnight, and said she hoped there would be “no further frustrations” of the bill as it goes through all its stages on Friday.
“It has been quite a night. It has been a long debate – and I am grateful to the noble Lords who have stayed the course – it shows the importance of the work we do and the issue we are debating,” she said.
“I am grateful that we are now able to confirm that we will be able to complete all stages of the bill in a time-honoured way by 5pm Friday.”