Posted on Sep 29, 2019
Downing Street has reportedly launched a major investigation into alleged links between foreign governments and the MPs behind the 'Surrender Act' which could force Boris Johnson to delay Britains's exit from the European Union, according to The Mail on Sunday.
According to the newspaper, sources say that No 10 took the unprecedented action after officials received intelligence that the MPs, including former Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin, had received help drafting the Bill from members of the French Government and the European Union.
The newspaper has also claims that the rebel MPs have drawn up plans for a second Act which would allow Commons Speaker John Bercow to bypass the Prime Minister if he cannot strike a deal to leave the EU on October 31st, something that has been reported from other sources.
The new law would allow Mr Bercow to personally ask Brussels for a further delay on behalf of the Commons. The rebels have reportedly discussed using the legislation to give Mr Bercow the power to appoint a new British commissioner to the EU, with pro-Remain former Home Secretary Amber Rudd mentioned as a candidate.
The Benn Act, passed earlier this month, states that if Johnson fails to win a deal by the end of the next EU summit on October 18th, he must write a letter to Brussels asking for the UK's departure to be delayed until January 31st, which he says he will refuse to do.
Under the rebel plan, the Commons would sit on October 19th in order to pass a new Bill giving Mr Bercow the power to write the letter. A senior Commons source said: 'The rebels say that if Boris wants to play with nuclear weapons then so will they'.
But last night No 10 hit back amid claims from senior sources that Mr Letwin had agreed the January 31st date in the first Benn Act with figures at the French Embassy in London.
Other members of the pro-Remain group – which includes former Chancellor Philip Hammond and ex-Attorney General Dominic Grieve – are suspected by Downing Street of having been assisted in drafting work by members of the European Commission.
Last night, the Mail on Sunday reported, a senior No 10 source as saying : 'The Government is working on extensive investigations into Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin and Hilary Benn [who tabled the Bill] and their involvement with foreign powers and the funding of their activities. Governments have proper rules for drafting legislation, but nobody knows what organisations are pulling these strings.
'We will demand the disclosure of all details of their personal communications with other states. The drafting of primary legislation in collusion with foreign powers must be fully investigated.'
Follow EU Today on Social media: