Home Brexit PM prepares ‘illegal letter loophole’ to sabotage demand for Brexit extension

PM prepares ‘illegal letter loophole’ to sabotage demand for Brexit extension

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
9th Sep 19 1:51 pm

The prime minister is preparing to “sabotage” parliament’s efforts to secure a Brexit extension using a “letter loophole.”

Boris Johnson is preparing to send a letter to the EU requesting an extension to Article 50 along with another letter insisting that he does not want it, according to the Daily Telegraph.

A source told The Telegraph, “There is a prescribed letter that has to be sent… Does that stop the prime minister sending other documents to the EU? I don’t think it does.

“A political explainer perhaps, as to where the Government’s policy is. It has to make clear that the government is asking for an extension, but let’s not forget what the next step is.

“Once that is done, the Europeans are going to ask: ‘Why? What is the reason? [What] if the government said: ‘We don’t have any reasons for an extension.

“There is a clear path now; the Europeans need to refuse an extension.”

However, legal experts have hit out saying that if Johnson were to do this then he will be breaking the law by using the “loophole.”

The former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the prime ministers move would illegal.

Lord Sumption said, “Not only has he got to send the letter, he’s got to apply for an extension. To send the letter and then try to neutralise it seems to me, plainly, a breach of the Act.

“What you’ve got to realise is the courts are not very fond of loopholes.”

The former justice secretary, Lord Falconer agreed, he tweeted, “Statutory Purpose of request letter is to get extension. To seek to destroy statutory purpose is to break law.”

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) blasted the prime minister, CBA chair Caroline Goodwin said, “We cannot expect people not to rob, rape and murder when a government declares it may break the law.

“We cannot lay rape to the rule of law.”

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