2019-09-10 22:23:53 UTC
"Unless a new withdrawal agreement materialises at the EU summit
ending on 18 October, the government must apply for the extension the
next day. If necessary, a court order can be applied for to require
the prime minister to do so. At that point, if he refused he would be
in contempt of court and could be sent to prison."
This is not quite correct.
MPs must also approve the agreement.
There is also the alternative scenario where if MPs voted to endorse
leaving without a deal on the 31st, Boris would also not need to seek
the extension, due section 1 (2) (details of the Bill that was passed
However it seems to me most unlikely that either a new agreement will be
agreed or that leaving without a deal will be endorsed by the present
Parliament. We will then find the PM apparently required to send the
letter seeking an extension no later than the 19th October.
There are 9 working days between the 19th and 31st October, so if Boris
were to resign rather than send the letter, that would open the way for
a new PM to be appointed in that time who could then send the letter.
The main obstacle to that would be the opposition parties agreeing on
who the new PM should be.
What if Boris refused to send the letter? I presume that if, as Grieve
claims, a court order was issued and Boris defied it and he was then
imprisoned, he'd also be sacked as PM and thus this would pave the way
for a new PM, but would the new PM be obliged to send the letter?
Is it likely the court would refuse the court order? If so, on what grounds?
Is there anything Boris can do to avoid even having to risk Grieve's
scenario playing out whilst remaining PM and taking the country out of
the EU without a deal?