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Boris Johnson ‘plans to stop Brexit extension’: report

Amber Rudd, a senior minister who quit British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet said on Sunday that the government was making little or no effort to secure a Brexit agreement with the European Union, despite Johnson’s insistence that he wants a deal.

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“What we know is that Angela Merkel and the EU have said, ‘give us your proposal,’ and we have not given them a proposal,” she told the BBC.

Last night, a Cabinet 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’?

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

Yesterday, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, said “in the current circumstances” France would not support an extension, adding: “We can’t keep going through this every three months.”

A Downing Street source said: “We intend to sabotage any extension. The Surrender Bill [the extension bill] only kicks in if an extension is offered. Once people realise our plans there is a good chance we won’t be offered a delay. Even if we are we intend to sabotage that too.”

The source added: “[Today] is the last chance for Corbyn to be prime minister and negotiate his delay at Brussels on October 17-18. If he opposes the people having their say in an election on October 15, then MPs should realise they may not be able to stop no deal.

“The MPs will be sent home this week and have no further chance to shape negotiations on Oct 17.”

MPs could be sent home from Parliament as early as this evening following the vote on a general election as the Government pushes ahead with its prorogation plan.

No. 10 has until the end of Thursday to suspend Parliament until October 14.

Johnson said last week that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for an extension, sparking speculation that he would flout the law.

However, hints that Downing Street had crafted a legal way out of the extension were floated by senior ministers yesterday.

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, described the legislation as “lousy” on Sky News, adding: “We are going to look at it very carefully, test what it legally requires and what it doesn’t require and that’s the responsible thing to do because it’s such a bad piece of legislation.”

Reuters, Telegraph, UK, AP

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