MPs "very unlikely" to find way of stopping no-deal Brexit says new report

Stopping the UK from leaving the EU without a deal is "very unlikely" due to the lack of time to secure a new agreement and reduced opportunities for parliamentarians to legislate against it, the Institute for Government has concluded in a report.

The UK-based think tank highlights that although Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated preferring to leave the bloc with a deal, the chance of that happening is now very slim.

MPs are currently on summer recess and are not scheduled to get back to Westminster until September 3rd. Johnson has stressed that the UK would leave the EU by October 31st, leaving just 58 days for the two parties to meet for negotiations, agree on a new deal and have it approved by their respective parliaments.

The British government wants the EU to abandon the backstop arrangement which plans for Northern Ireland to remain in the bloc's customs union to prevent a hard border — which the EU has continuously rejected.

If no new deal is agreed, and with the legal default being a no-deal Brexit, lawmakers opposed to such an event are unlikely to be able to derail the process, the report notes.

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MPs looking to force the government into a change of approach face a huge challenge when parliament returns... Even if they can assemble a majority for something, they may find few opportunities to make their move — and time is running out.

Joe Owen, Brexit director at the Institute for Government

Jeremy Corbyn's plan for a vote of no confidence would, even if it were to happen, probably not block a no-deal exit either.

Should the government lose — which would require at least one Conservative MP to rebel — it would still be allowed to remain in power during a 14 day-period even if an alternative government could be found or call a second vote which could cancel out the first one.

With snap elections requiring a five-week build-up by law, "Johnson could try to set a date after 31 October, thereby ensuring that the UK left without a deal first," the report states.

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