The European Parliament President took to Twitter to also announce he has spoken to Mr Johnson after the astonishing turn of events today. He said: “Waiting for the letter. I just talked to PM @BorisJohnson about the situation after the vote in the House of Commons.” Despite the controversial Letwin amendment passing with a vote of 322 to 306 today, Mr Johnson announced he would not beg for an extension.
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow said if Mr Johnson will not send the letter to the EU to request a delay, he would.
A Number 10 source said: “A vote for Letwin is a vote for delay and the whips will send everyone home.
“A vote for Letwin means MPs for voting to render the entire day, that they demanded, meaningless.
“It would perfectly sum up this broken Parliament.
Boris Johnson urged MPs to back his deal ahead of the vote
“But the government will not negotiate delay – we will continue to argue that the UK and Europe should reject delay and force MPs to choose between this deal and no deal.
“And we will introduce the legislation on Monday so we can get Brexit done on October 31.”
When asked if Prime Minister Boris Johnson would ask the European Union to delay Brexit past the current October 31 deadline if the law required it, Mr Barclay said Mr Johnson would comply with the law.
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The House of Commons after the announcement of the result of the vote
0.25am update: Labour Brexiteer attacks EU over worker rights
Labour MP Caroline Flint who backed Remain in the referednum but voted against the Letwin amendment has started a Twitter debate with colleague Russel Lloyed-Moyle.
Ms Flint, who comes from a Brexit backing constiuency wrote: “EU News Update Lloyd Russell-Moyle – in April 2019 EU Parl finally approved minimum rights for Gig economy workers inc those on zero hours. Member States have 3 years to introduce. You’ll pleased to know UK has already introduced such legislation.”
0.00am update: “Terminate early”
The letters say the European Council could offer an alternative extension.
The unsigned letter says the Government will attmept to ratify the new deal next week.
It suggests: “If parties are able to ratify before this date, the Government proposes that the period should be terminated early.”
Sunday October 20
11.40pm update: Donald Tusk has recieved the letter
Gursimran Hans takes over live reporting from Carly Read.
Donald Tusk has confirmed he has recieved the letters sent by the Prime Minister.
10.15pm update: Boris sends letter to EU but REFUSES to sign it
Boris Johnson has sent his letter to the EU asking for an extension. However, the wording has been copied from the Benn Act and Mr Johnson has refused to sign it.
He also sent a covering letter and a letter to individual EU leaders saying he does not want a delay to Brexit.
Earlier EU President Tusk said a response would take some time.
9.10pm update: The ex-Tories who voted for the Letwin amendment
The ex-Tories that voted for the Letwin amendment to force Boris Johnson to beg for a Brexit extension are Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, ex-chancellor Ken Clarke, hardcore Remainer ex-Tories Justine Greening, Nick Boles, David Gauke, Guto Bebb and Dominic Grieve.
Oliver Letwin also voted for his own amendment.
8.30pm update: Boris Johnson writes to MPs saying he will not beg for Brexit extension
Boris Johnson has penned a letter to MPs announcing he will not ask for a Brexit extension.
The letter reads: “I will not negotiate a delay with the European Union. I will tell the EU what I have the British public for my 88 days as Prime Minister: further delay is not a solution.”
8.21pm update: EU to take ‘a few days’ to decide whether to grant Brexit extension
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed during a call with European Council President Donald Tusk that a Brexit extension request would be sent on Saturday, an EU official said.
“Tusk will on that basis start consulting EU leaders on how to react. This may take a few days,” the official added.
Boris Johnson has penned a letter to MPs announcing he will not ask for a Brexit extension
8.15pm update: Boris Johnson tells Donald Tusk extension request letter to be ent this evening
Boris Johnson is reported to have told Donald Tusk a letter requesting an extension to Brexit.
This comes as Mr Tusk gloated he was “waiting for the letter” on his Twitter page.
8.06pm update: Donald Tusk says he has spoken to Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson has spoken on the phone to Donald Tusk, the European Council President said.
Mr Tusk said on Twitter: “Waiting for the letter. I just talked to PM @BorisJohnson about the situation after the vote in the House of Commons.”
7.45pm update: Sinn Fein distances itself from Westminster amid Brexit chaos
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald said today’s vote at Westminster will “do nothing” to allay the Brexit fears of workers, businesses or farmers.
Ms McDonald said: “Today we have witnessed more farce and dysfunction in the British ‘House of Chaos’.
“What happened today has nothing to do with Ireland, our interests, our economy or our agreements. No one should be under any illusion about that.
“Today’s antics and bluster will not allay the fears of Irish workers, business or agri foods producers and our border communities.
“The majority of the people of the north did not consent to Brexit. It is being foisted on them against their democratic wishes.
“Sinn Fein will continue to work to defend Ireland from the worst impacts of Brexit and ensure there will be no hard border, no unionist veto and that the Good Friday Agreement will be protected.”
7.12pm update: Macron officially rejects Letwin amendment – statement
A statement from France’s presidential Elysee Palace said there is nothing to be gained by prolonging a decision on the Brexit deal.
It said any additional delay “is in the interest of no-one”.
French president Emmanuel Macron’s office said given that a deal has been negotiated, “it’s now up to the British Parliament to say if it approves or rejects it. There must be a vote on the fundamentals”.
7pm update: Andrew Neil perfectly explains how Remainer MPs will never allow Brexit to happen
Andrew Neil has perfectly explained today’s bizarre turn of events in Parliament that led to Prime Minister Boris Johnson being forced to beg for a Brexit extension to block a no deal Brexit – despite having a deal due to be voted on today.
The veteran BBC presenter took to Twitter to sum up the emergence of the controversial Letwin amendment that today won a vote of 322 to 306 blocking a meaningful vote on the Prime Minister’s deal that would have finally brought an end to the UK’s relentless Brexit journey.
Mr Neil, who is suspected to be in support of Brexit, said: “The Benn Act, forcing government to seek Brexit deadline extension in event of no deal, was drawn up in expectation of no deal. But Mr Johnson produced a deal.
“Hence scramble to come up with Letwin amendment, which forces extension even with deal.”
6.38pm update: Ex-Labour MP condemns Brexit ‘dither, delay and confusion’ in Twitter posts
Independent MP Ian Austin, who quit Labour earlier this year, asked: “When are MPs going to face up to this and sort Brexit out, instead of voting for more dither, delay & confusion?”
In a series of tweets, Mr Austin posted: “After more than three years to sort this out, people in the Black Country are sick of politicians bickering about party politics or trying to block Brexit altogether.
“This might not be a perfect deal, but that’s because too many MPs have been using every trick in the book to frustrate the process, instead of working together to find a compromise and sort Brexit out.
“Like the vast majority of MPs, the manifesto I stood on in 2017 promised to uphold the result of the referendum. I repeated that promise to people in Dudley, I respect the people I represent and I keep my promises. That is why I voted to get Brexit done today.
“No one should take Labour’s complaints about the deal seriously when they deliberately scuppered cross-party talks to find a better one. We are in this mess because they refused to find a compromise, because people like Corbyn want chaos or people like Keir want to stop Brexit.”
6.31pm update: Ireland warns any UK request for Brexit extension not straightforward
Ireland’s position remains that granting an extension to Brexit is preferable to Britain coming out of the European Union without a deal but there is no guarantee that view is shared throughout the bloc, its foreign minister said.
“The Irish government position has always been that an extension is preferable to a no deal and I don’t think that will change but this has to be a decision that is a collective decision by the European Council,” Simon Coveney told Irish national broadcaster RTE on Saturday.
“Any one prime minister can prevent that and I think the EU wants to see certainty and an end to endless negotiation and speculation so I think a request for an extension is not straightforward.”
6.30pm update: Emmanuel Macron has telephone discussion with Boris Johnson
Emmanuel Macron has had a telephone conversation with Boris Johnson following the passing of the controversial Letwin amendment.
It remains unknown what was said, though Mr Macron has twice said today the EU will not allow a Brexit extension as voted for in the amendment.
6.18pm update: Tory MP sums up today’s events in sarcastic Tweet about Letwin amendment
Tory MP Paul Scully has summed up today’s turn of events in a series of sarcastic Tweets.
He said: “So for clarity, a thread about the current Brexit position *spoiler – don’t expect clarity…
“Boris has a new, improved deal which can get Brexit done in just 12 days time…
“The MPs who 2 years ago voted for a Meaningful Vote came in on a Saturday to vote not to bother having one anymore now it doesn’t suit their purpose…
“Same MPs by pushing through the Surrender Act led to us sitting on a Saturday to no effect…
“Labour believes they need the EU to protect them from a Conservative government which doesn’t suggest any confidence in their ability to win a General Election…
“Labour wants to negotiate a new deal then campaign against it in a 2nd referendum…
“Libdems aren’t brazen enough to revoke Article 50 but have said they will ignore the result of a 2nd referendum if they don’t like the result…
“Libdem leader wrote to Barnier asking him not to do a deal with Boris (to his credit like many, he didn’t take her seriously)…
“Meanwhile Brexit party is split with Nigel Farage wanting to ask for an extension (yup!) & is supportive of the Surrender Act…
“The DUP would have got this through if they hadn’t voted for the amendment despite Northern Ireland becoming the most competitive region of the EU under this deal…
“So we push through with the legislation needed to leave with a deal by 31st October. It’s what the country wants & needs. Let’s #GetBrexitDone/ends.”
5.52pm update: Leo Varadkar warns Brexit extension must get unanimous EU vote
Irish PM Leo Varadkar has warned any Brexit extension must get a unanimous vote from the EU.
He said on Twitter: “The EU & UK agreed a Withdrawal Agreement on Thursday that defends Ireland’s interests. The Commons voted today to defer a decision on whether or not to ratify that agreement. To date, no request for an extension has been made by the UK Government.
“Should that happen, President Tusk will consult all 27 Heads of State & Govt on whether or not we will grant one. Extension can only be granted by unanimity.”
5.51pm update: Guy Verhofstadt praises anti-Brexit marchers on Twitter
EU Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt has praised anti-Brexit supporters outside Parliament in a tweet.
He also said the EU will consider a Brexit extension – despite French President Emmanuel Macron refusing one.
He said: “The @Europarl_EN’s Brexit Steering Group will consider the outcome of today’s vote for the Letwin amendment on Monday. Whatever happens next, the marches outside the Parliament show just how important a close EU – UK future relationship is.”
The EU & UK agreed a Withdrawal Agreement on Thursday that defends Ireland’s interests. The Commons voted today to defer a decision on whether or not to ratify that agreement. To date, no request for an extension has been made by the UK Government.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) October 19, 2019
5.48pm update: John Bercow threatens to send letter to EU begging for extension if Boris Johnson continues to refuse to
Speaker John Bercow said he will send a letter to the EU begging for a Brexit extension if Boris Johnson continues to refuse to.
5.40pm update: Gina Miller hails Letwin amendment for allowing MPs ‘pause for thought’ on Brexit
Arch-Remainer Gina Miller hailed Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment for allowing MPs a “pause for thought” on Brexit.
She tweeted: “Letwin amendment win affords MPs a pause for thought. Lots of twist & turns still to come but important MPs focus on:
– country over party
– principles over politics
– scrutiny over blind rubberstamping.
The dishonesty dripping from some MPs lips in the HoC today was shameful.”
5.30pm update: Boris Johnson shows MP text message from Macron saying no to a Brexit extension
Boris Johnson showed an MP a text message from French President Emmanuel Macron refusing to allow a Brexit extension.
Sky News political editor Beth Rigby, in response to a tweet saying the same from ITV’s Paul Brand, tweeted: “I have also been told by an MP that the PM had showed someone a text in which Macron apparently told Johnson they’d be no extension….”
5.20pm update: Iain Duncan Smith confirms Macron has already said no to a Brexit extension
Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith has confirmed French President Emmanuel Macron has said no to a Brexit extension.
ITV’s Paul Brand tweeted: “Iain Duncan Smith tells me he’s heard President Macron of France has already told Downing Street the EU will not grant an extension.”
5pm update: Pro-Brexit protesters ‘intimated’ Labour MP
A Labour MP said on Twitter she felt “intimidated” by those in a pro-Brexit march before tweeting to Tories Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom in response the former Leader of the Commons stating she was abused by protesters demanding a People’s Vote.
Shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler tweeted: “Hi Andrea Glad you and Michael got back home safely.
“I also felt intimidated by the Brexit supporting crowds shouting. The police thankfully cornered them off.
“I think it’s important that we encourage all sides to disagree respectfully. And MPs watch our language and tone.”
Brexieters Ms Leadsom and Mr Gove were flanked by police as pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit protesters hurled abuse from both sides when MPs left Parliament.
Diane Abbott as another, who was interrogated by a Brexit supporter, who she ignored.
Michael Gove was escorted through anti-Brexit marchers
Jacob Rees-Mogg had a police escort also
Thank goodness for our superb police. Just walked home safely from HoC with their protection – why do the so called ‘People’s Vote’ protesters think it’s ok to abuse, intimidate and scream in the face of someone they don’t agree with? So frightening, and so grateful to the police
— Andrea Leadsom MP (@andrealeadsom) October 19, 2019
4.45pm update: Diane Abbott flanked by police escort amid shouts of ‘traitor’ from public
Labour’s Diane Abbott was flanked by a police escort during shouts of “traitor” by the public as she left the House of Commons.
MPs entering into a furious crowd were protected by police this afternoon after voting for an amendment to force the PM to beg for a Brexit extension.
Jacob Rees-Mogg and Andrea Leadsom also had a police escort.
4.35pm update: Tory Party HQ confirms Boris Johnson will not ask for Brexit delay
The Conservative Party HQ conformed Boris Johnson will not seek a delay to Brexit despite Sir Oliver Letwin’s motion being passed is the House of Commons which cancelled the Super Saturday meaningful vote on Mr Johnson’s withdrawal agreement.
The Conservatives said: “Parliament has voted to delay Brexit again. The Prime Minister will not ask for a delay – he will tell EU leaders there should be no more delays and we should get Brexit done on October 31st with our new deal so the country can move on.”
4.30pm update: BBC’s Katya Adler warns Remainers EU leaders are ‘dreading delay’ – will NOT renegotiate
Remainers who today successfully derailed Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans by passing Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment forcing the Prime Minister to beg the EU for a delay have been warned they shouldn’t “expect any immediate action” from Brussels.
MPs sparked a ferocious response by voting 322 to 306 with a majority of 16 for the Remainer MP’s amendment to get an extension and therefore cancelling today’s so-called Super Saturday vote that could have finally put an end to Brexit.
But The BBC’s Katya Adler warned the EU are “dreading this delay almost as much as the government” in a scathing message to Remainers. She said: “EU dreading this delay almost as much as the government.
No intention in Brussels to renegotiate this deal AGAIN.
“Don’t expect any immediate action from EU. They watch carefully what unfolds in UK. They will not rush to answer a request for a new extension if receive it from UK. They want to keep pressure up on MPs.
“EU’s legal #Brexit deadline remains 11pm in UK on 31 October. All EU leaders will return to Brussels for emergency summit to debate any new extension but they *could* do so as late as 31 October itself.”
Diane Abbott was flanked by police
#BREAKING: Parliament has voted to delay Brexit again. The Prime Minister will not ask for a delay — he will tell EU leaders there should be no more delays and we should get Brexit done on October 31st with our new deal so the country can move on. pic.twitter.com/5EE69IuhUO
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) October 19, 2019
4.06pm update: Emmanuel Macron rages a Brexit extension is ‘in nobody’s interest’ an hour after shock vote
Emmanuel Macron has joined forces with Boris Johnson in condemning the Letwin amendment that forces the Prime Minister to beg for a Brexit delay by raging an extension is “in nobody’s interest!”.
Less than an hour after MPs voted 322 to 306 in favour of Sir Oliver Letwin’s morion to force the Prime Minister to beg Brussels for a Brexit extension, Mr Macron – as enraged as Mr Johnson over the result – told AFP an extension to Article 50 is “in nobody’s interest”.
the 41-year-old French President is widely expected to veto any Brexit extension which would see MP vote for the deal as planned today or – if the legislation for Brexit is not in time for the October 31 deadline – come out of the bloc on World Trade Organisation terms.
Mr Macron was only this week criticised for being the only EU leader to veto both Albania and North Macedonia joining the EU to full the black hole left behind by Brexit.
3.50pm update: New Brexit delay in no one’s interest, says a French diplomatic source
The source admitted another delay in Brexit would be in nobody’s interest.
The source said: “France will consult with its European partners and cannot take a decision at this stage.
“A deal has been negotiated, it is up to the British Parliament to approve it or not, a meaningful vote is necessary.”
3.21pm update: Jacob Rees-Mogg announces date of meaningful vote
The leader of the Commons has confirmed the meaningful vote on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will be held on Monday.
Raising a point of order, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “In the light of today’s decision I should like to inform the House that Monday’s business now be a debate on a motion relating to section 13 1(b) of the European Union Withdrawal Act 2018.
“And I shall make a further business statement on Monday.”
Section 13 1(b) of the European Union Withdrawal Act 2018 requires that MPs have a “meaningful vote” on any Brexit deal in order for it to be ratified.
3.19pm update: EU says UK needs to inform it about next steps
Mina Andreeva, the spokesperson for EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, tweeted: “EU Commission takes note of the vote in the House of Commons today on the so-called Letwin Amendment meaning that the Withdrawal Agreement itself was not put to vote today.
“It will be for the UK government to inform us about the next steps as soon as possible.”
3.08pm update: Government keeps schtum on what Boris will do next
Huffington Post’s Paul Waugh tweeted: “Well that’s extraordinary.
“PM’s spokesman refuses to tell us whether PM will send a letter to Brussels. Only says “governments comply with the law”.
Meanwhile, Brexit Party MEP Lance Forman tweeted: “Like it or loathe it the one great think about our UK Parliament is that we do have proper debates.
“This is totally different to the EU Parliament where you give a one minute speech which no one listens to and they turn the mics off if you go beyond 60 secs.”
3.03pm update: Boris say he will not negotiate delay to Brexit
Boris Johnson said on Saturday he would not negotiate a delay to Brexit.
But if a deal is not approved by parliament by the end of Saturday, Mr Johnson is required by law to ask the EU for a three-month delay to Brexit.
He said after the vote: “I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so.
“I will tell our friends and colleagues in the EU exactly what I have told everyone else in the last 88 days that I have served as prime minister: that further delay would be bad for
this country, bad for the European Union and bad for democracy.”
Laura Kuenssberg said: “There is going to be a lot of arguing over what the difference is between asking for a delay and actually negotiating one – Benn Act is not explicit about negotiation but there is important principle at stake of not frustrating the law.”
2.56pm update: Corbyn ‘welcomes’ result of vote
Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech to MPs after the vote today.
He said Mr Johnson needs to reconsider what he has said about not asking for an extension.
Meanwhile, the SNP’s Ian Blackford asked the speaker how it government can be forced to comply with the law and the Benn act.
He added Mr Johnson thinks “he’s above the law” but will find himself in court if he doesn’t abide by it.
2.51pm update: Boris says ‘Alas!’ over meaningful vote decision
The Prime Minister responded to the result of the vote this afternoon.
He told the Commons: “I hope they will change their mind and support this deal so we can get Brexit done on October 31.”
2.49pm update: The result is in!
MPs have vote yes: 321 and no: 306
This is a majority of 16, meaning the meaningful vote will be delayed.
2.46pm update: Kuenssberg hints how DUP may have voted
Laura Kuenssberg tweeted while voting got underway: “DUP source tells me they are going to back Letwin – big blow for the PM.
“Labour MP texts to confirm DUP walking with them through the lobbies to back the Letwin amendment.”
2.30pm update: Gove issues warning to not back Letwin’s amendment
Michael Gove told MPs: “If we accept the amendment, we will not have a meaningful vote.”
MPs are now voting on delaying the approval of Mr Johnson’s deal.
The Kyle-Wilson amendment will no longer be voted on.
2.26pm update: Another rebel Tory has confirmed he will vote for Boris’s deal
Nicholas Soames, the grandson of former prime minister Winston Churchill who was ousted from the Conservative Party for voting against the Government, tweeted: “I shall vote against The Letwin amendment and for the Deal.”
2.22pm update: Police pin man to floor ‘acting strangely’ outside Parliament
Armed police were on alert as they stood by the man while he was searched and removed from the Parliamentary estate.
The man, who was dressed in a green jacket, dark jeans and holding a camera bag, was said to be “behaving strangely”.
Spokesperson for the House of Commons authorities said: “We are aware of an incident involving a visitor in a public area of the Parliamentary estate.
“Security staff and the Police attended and the situation has been resolved.”
According to The Mirror, City of London Police were seen confiscating a pass from the man that would have allowed him to sit in the public gallery of the House of Commons.
2pm update: Laura Kuenssberg points out how Boris’s vote could stil go ahead
Ms Kuenssberg tweeted: “Niche alert – if Letwin amendment passes, it is too late for the govt to pull the main vote on the deal, but it can be ‘negatived’ – ie if the govt doesn’t provide tellers or no one shouts ‘aye’ on the second call (yes I know) then the vote could just come to a halt”.
MPs are believed to only be debating for another half hour or so.
She also tweeted: “No 10 claims chances of no deal go up if Letwin passes – ‘the govt will step up no deal preparations immediately as the risks will have increased substantially – if Letwin defeated + deal approved, no deal preparations will start being turned off immediately’.”
This means MPs have been warned they will face a higher prospect of a no deal Brexit if they force the Prime Minister to seek an extension with EU leaders tonight.
Theresa May urged MPs to get on with Brexit
1.31pm update: Theresa May urges MPs to back deal if they don’t want no deal
The former Prime Minister said: “Did we really mean it [when backed Brexit in series of votes?
“If this parliament did not mean it then it is guilty of the most egregious con trick on the British people”.
After she made a rugby joke, Mrs May also told the Commons: “I hope the whole House will forgive me if I say standing here I have a distinct sense of deja vu.”
Mr Johnson could be heard saying: “I know how you feel.”
She added: “If you don’t want no deal you have to vote for a deal. Businesses are crying out for certainty. People want certainty in their lives.”
Mrs May also said the SNP has a history of rejecting the results of referendums, in a reference to the Scottish Independence vote in 2014.
1.06pm update: Remainers fearing ‘last chance to stop Brexit’ descend on London
On this historic day, dubbed “Super Saturday”, the People’s Vote campaign say they expect up to 1 million people to march on Parliament demanding British voters are given a say before Brexit is delivered.
The actual number is likely to be in the hundreds of thousands.
The Final Say rally is the culmination of events around the UK over the past few months which aimed to whip up support for the campaign’s cause which is backed by numerous MPs from different parties.
Protesters are demanding a final say on Brexit
Anti-Brexit protesters have taken aim at the PM’s adviser Dominic Cummings
12.55pm update: Letwin says his amendment is to prevent no deal
Oliver Letwin said the purpose of his amendment is to stop the UK crashing out with no deal if legislation is not passed by October 31.
He said: “Despite my support for the PM’s deal I do not believe its responsible to make that threat [of my deal or no deal].”
He added he will vote for Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal when the actual legislation is tabled in parliament next week.
12.52pm update: Starmer shares his views on the deal ahead of vote
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said: “There’s been a lot of attention on how the deal operates in Northern Ireland, and rightly so, but that shouldn’t be allowed to mask the political project that is driving this deal.”
Sir Keir added: “So it’s clear what this deal does, it rips up our close trading relationship with the EU and the price will be paid in damage to our economy and in job losses.
“And anyone doubting this should look at the words stripped out of the deal put forward by the previous prime minister, put the texts side by side and ask some difficult questions.
“Paragraph 19 used to read this: ‘The parties envisage having a trading relationship on goods that is as close as possible with a view to facilitating the ease of legitimate trade.’
“Those words, as close as possible, have been stripped out, why? Now it said we want as close as possible, now it said there’s all sorts of assurances.
“But between the text as it was under the previous prime minister, and the text we have before us today, the words that we want a trading relationship on goods that’s as close as possible, those words have been taken out and that’s not an accident.”
Keir Starmer raised many questions for Mr Barclay ahead of the vote
12.23pm update: Will Tory rebels who had the whip removed back Mr Johnson’s deal or the Letwin amendment?
Sky’s Beth Rigby tweeted: “Am told by someone working with Letwin on the amendment that over half of the 21 Tory rebels will support his amendment. They think it passes.”
The former attorney general, Dominic Grieve, who also had the whip removed, called the Letwin amendment “an insurance policy”.
Mr Barclay said the purpose of the amendment was just delay, “to stop us getting Brexit done” and added today is an opportunity for those who want to avoid no deal.
In the Commons, Ed Vaizey, a Tory MPs who had the whip withdrawn, asked that if the deal was voted for but the bill was not able to be approved by October 31, whether that would lead to no deal?
Mr Barclay did not give a straight answer.
12.17pm update: Theresa May’s reaction goes viral after MPs cheer Boris for abolishing her backstop
Cameras cut away to Mrs May when the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that Mr Johnson’s deal “was actually worse than Theresa May’s deal”.
One online viewer tweeted: “Each time another MP is saying that the ‘great deal’ Boris Johnson is proposing, is even more worse than the deal Theresa May proposed, her face expression says a lot.”
Another said: “Her face looks like she hates it so much, that Boris Johnson might deliver Brexit with a worse deal than what she came home with.”
A third user joked: “I think I could watch Theresa May’s face for this entire debate. We need a May cam.”
MPs are still debating the amendment and deal ahead of the vote today
12.14pm update: Boris spotted getting into a ‘huddle’ with DUP
Robert Peston has tweeted: “The DUP and Boris Johnson are going into a huddle, I am told.
“But my DUP sources tell me it is “a bit late” for the PM to reach out to them.”
12.09pm update: Could Brexit still happen?
Nick Boles, the independent MP who left the Conservatives, has claimed the UK could still leave the EU even if the Letwin amendment passes.
He said: “If the Letwin Amendment passes, and the government brings forward the bill at at the start of next week and that bill passes before October 31, we will leave on October 31 without a delay.
“If the Letwin Amendment fails, and the government brings forward the bill and some people in the ERG – like the Honourable Member for Billericay [John Baron], suddenly discover that they prefer the idea of a no-deal Brexit and the bill fails, we will leave on 31 October with no-deal.”
12.05pm update: Francois says ERG fully backed Boris’s deal
Mark Francois told MPs no member of the ERG spoke against the deal at its meeting this morning.
He said: “If the deal is passed this morning we will faithfully vote the bill through to the end so that we leave the EU.”
He also attempted to quash the suggestion that they might vote for the deal before trying to force through a no deal at a later date.
12pm update: Will Letwin’s amendment be passed?
ITV’s Robert Peston has tweeted: “Whips telling me Letwin wins by 5.”
His tweet comes as a Labour Party spokesperson confirmed the opposition party will back the Letwin amendment.
But Mr Barclay also ripped into Labour and called them an “opposition who cannot see further than opposition for opposition’s sake”.
He accused his Labour shadow, Keir Starmer, of turning down a proposal from the cross-party talks that was a copy and paste of Labour’s own proposals.
Mr Starmer responded he knows that’s not true and called for him to withdraw his statement, which he did.
He said: “Today is about this house moving on, this house coming together and the country coming together.”
Theresa May was pictured listening to MPs debate on Mr Johnson’s deal
11.51am update: MPs are divided over Letwin amendment
Alistair Burt said that although it has “good intentions”, he won’t be voting for the Letwin amendment.
But Gareth Snell, a Labour MP who has said he will support a Brexit deal, has revealed he will vote through the Letwin amendment.
This is because some people still don’t “100 percent trust the government”.
He said: “There is a way through if the government lays the legislation next week so MPs can actually look at the detail and allow “meaningful decisions” to be made at second and third reading.”
Labour’s Caroline Flint called the Letwin amendment “a panic measure”.
She said it also shows the sponsors of the Benn Act only wanted to delay Brexit or even stop it altogether.
11.32am update: The debate on the two motions begin
Stephen Barclay is subjected to cries of “How dare you?” after the mentions the name of the late Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam.
The speaker told MPs to calm down and Mr Barclay added he was referring to her ability to unify.
Mr Barclay then said he respects the intentions of Oliver Letwin, but still wants him to withdraw.
He said: “His amendment would render today’s vote meaningless …The public would be appalled by pointless further delay.”
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay delivers a statement in the Commons
11.30am update: DUP urges Boris to reconsider Brexit deal
Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s Westminster leader, urged the Prime Minister to reconsider his Brexit offer and ensure the United Kingdom leaves the EU as one.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Dodds told the Prime Minister: “Weariness in this House over Brexit should not be an excuse for weakness on Brexit or weakness on the union.”
Mr Dodds said there must be “Brexit for the whole of the United Kingdom”, leaving the single market and customs union as one.
He said: “This deal puts Northern Ireland, yes, in the UK customs union but applies de facto all the European customs union code, yes it does, read the detail.”
Mr Dodds raised concerns over Northern Ireland’s involvement in the VAT regime and the single market “without any consent up front” before claiming: “It drives a coach and horses through the Belfast Agreement by altering the cross-community consent mechanism.”
Mr Dodds then alluded to previous warnings from Mr Johnson about how no British PM could agree to such terms, adding: “Will he now abide by that and please reconsider the fact that we must leave as one nation together?”
Mr Johnson, replying to Mr Dodds, said together he and the DUP secured changes on the customs union before defending the measures in the deal for Northern Ireland.
He said: “In all frankness I do think it a pity that it is thought necessary for one side or the other in the debate in Northern Ireland to have a veto on those arrangements.
“Because after all, I must be very frank about this, the people of this country have taken a great decision embracing the entire four nations of this country by a simple majority vote that went 52-48, which we’re honouring now.
“I think that principle should be applied elsewhere and I see no reason why it should not be applied in Northern Ireland, and it is in full compatibility with the Good Friday Agreement.”
11.24am update: Letwin will NOT pull his amendment
Camilla Tominey tweeted: “Oliver Letwin will not be pulling amendment, despite pleas from the Prime Minister and Tory colleagues.”
11.16am update: MPs told ‘only one vote necessary tonight’
Frank Field, the Labour-turned-independent MP, said in the Commons “there is only one vote necessary”.
He also urged Mr Letwin to withdraw his amendment.
Mr Johnson agreed with this ans said: “I think it would be a good thing if this house had an ability to have what I think was promised – a meaningful vote tonight.”
11.12am update: Has Letwin had a change of heart about his amendment?
The Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey tweeted: “Dominic Grieve has just entered Chamber, tapped Oliver Letwin on shoulder and they’ve both gone out for a chat.
“Oliver Letwin has just returned to the Chamber looking like he’s decided something … not sure what though.
“He’s nodding. Sticking by amendment or withdrawing it? Grieve now standing nearby.”
The Prime Minister answered MPs’ questions over his deal during Super Saturday
11.03am update: Boris asked why Northern Ireland will be given different benefits to rest of UK
Chair of the Exiting the European Union Committee and Labour MP Hilary Benn said: “This agreement will maintain friction-free access to this European market to Northern Ireland, can the Prime Minister therefore explain why he is so determined to deny that exact same benefit to the rest of the United Kingdom.
“Because I say to him that if he presses on with that path, he will not heal the rift to which he referred a moment ago, he will only serve to widen it further.”
Mr Johnson replied: “Mr Speaker, the right honourable gentleman whom I have a high regard is, I think, one of those who believes we should delay further, I don’t believe that, I think we should come out as one UK, and I think there’s a very important difference between Northern Ireland and the other constituent parts of the UK, and that’s evident in the Good Friday Agreement, it’s evident in the need to treat that particular land border with a great deal of respect.”
Brexiteer and Conservative MP Bill Cash (Stone) said: “Will my right honourable friend personally guarantee that in the bill, the Withdrawal Bill, there will be a guarantee to protect in practice our parliamentary sovereignty.
“And furthermore, that in relation to the Withdrawal Agreement that there will be provision to protect the United Kingdom from any harmful matters relating to our vital national interests under a parliamentary system which will guarantee that this House will decide if there are any situations where we need to prevent EU laws from being harmful to those vital interesting during the course of the future arrangements that are being put in place.”
Mr Johnson replied: “He raises a particular, an important, point, about our ability to protect this country from injurious or vexatious legislation coming from the EU from the period from the IP, and I can certainly give him the assurance that we will have protection.”
10.49am update: Boris continues to reassure MPs over his deal
Father of the House and former Conservative MP Ken Clarke said: “So would he (Boris Johnson) reassure me, as I assure him I will vote for his deal once we have given legislative effect to it, that when he goes on to negotiate the eventual long term arrangements, he will seek a solution where we have the same completely open access across the Channel, across the Irish border, to trade and investment in both directions with the European Union that we have now, even if we have to sacrifice the political benefits we have hitherto enjoyed from membership of the Union.”
Mr Johnson replied: “And I can give him, Mr Speaker, the absolute reassurance that in the course of the negotiations, in which I say we would want the entire House or as many as possible to be involved, to take part, we will ensure we have exactly what I think he desires – a zero tariff, zero quota, free trade partnership so that there is maximum and increasing trade between our economies.”
Oliver Letwin is not planning to withdraw his amendment despite being urged by MPs
10.46am update: Boris asked what will happen to Northern Irish backstop after transition
Kate Hoey, a Labour Brexiteer, asked the Prime Minister to confirm that if a free trade deal is confirmed after the transition period, then Northern Ireland will be able to leave the backstop.
Mr Johnson responded that it will lapse automatically and the default position is full alignment with the UK in every respect.
But this is unless the people of Northern Ireland decide by a majority vote to remain in alignment with the EU.
10.39am update: Blackford calls deal worse than Theresa May’s deal
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “The Prime Minister has returned from Brussels to present a deal that he knows, that we all know is actually worse than Theresa May’s deal, a deal that would see Scotland shafted by this United Kingdom Government, left at an economic disadvantage, with Scotland’s views totally disregarded by this Prime Minister and his Government.
“Not a single MP who cares about Scotland’s future should consider supporting the Prime Minister today.”
Responding to Mr Blackford, the Prime Minister said: “I must say that I think he’s being a little bit … churlish in his response because after all I didn’t mention England and I didn’t mention Wales.
“The reason of course that Northern Ireland is a particular subject of discussion, it is a legitimate point, is that there are particular circumstances in Northern Ireland at the border which deserve particular respect and sensitivity and that is what they have received.”
10.26am update: Ian Duncan Smith begs for Letwin amendment to be withdrawn
Tory former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith urged Sir Oliver to “stow” his amendment.
Mr Duncan Smith said: “Would he please come to the despatch box and ask the member for West Dorset (Sir Oliver) to please now, recognising we need to have a meaningful vote, to withdraw his amendment and give the British people what they are dying for, is a decision on Brexit.”
Responding, the Prime Minister said: “I do think that this is a momentous occasion for our country and for our Parliament and it would be a great shame if the opportunity to have a meaningful vote, which is I believe this House … can vote to do, were to be taken away from us.
“I just say that with the greatest respect to my right honourable friend (Sir Oliver) who I think is actuated by the best possible intentions.”
Sky’s Lewis Goodall added on Twitter: “IDS asking Boris Johnson to implore Oliver Letwin to withdraw his amendment. Letwin smiles.”
10.20am update: Norman Lamb announces how he will vote
Norman Lamb was the only Lib Dem who looked likely to potentially vote for the deal.
But he has said he will not vote for the deal.
He tweeted: “My decision! I hope people will accept that it has been reached after a lot of soul searching and on the basis of what I think is best for the country and my constituents.
“I hope we can avoid the bile and abuse on both sides which has characterised this debate.”
Meanwhile, Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, said the deal removed protections on workers’ rights.
She also blasted the Prime Minister for not giving the British public a choice on his deal.
Jeremy Corbyn jeered by MPs for refusing to back UK leaving EU [WATCH]
Boris Johnson secures big win as ERG group promise to back vote [REVEALED]
Brexit news: What is the Letwin amendment and will it pass? [EXPLAINED]
MPs gather in the Commons ahead of the Super Saturday sitting
10.17am update: Letwin tries to negotiate truce with Boris over amendment
Robert Peston tweeted: “Mr Letwin went into Downing St yesterday to try to negotiate truce.
“He wanted to persuade Boris Johnson his amendment is not hostile to PM.
“He conspicuously failed in that intent. He might not have been helped that Downing St believes he is advised by the brilliant QC Pannick, who defeated Johnson in Supreme Court over the legality of the prorogation.”
10.12am update: Boris responds to Mr Corbyn’s statement
Mr Johnson said he was “disappointed by the tone” of Mr Corbyn’s response.
He quoted Conservative peer, Stuart Rose, who was chair of Britain Stronger in Europe, and said the deal would be good for the economy.
He added Mr Corbyn does not trust his own party.
The Prime Minister finished by saying the deal will take the whole of Europe forward.
Mr Johnson, who is an Old Etonian, got jeered when referring to the European “elite”.
10.10am update: Jeremy Corbyn continues to criticise Boris Johnson’s deal
Mr Corbyn said: “Voting for a deal today won’t end Brexit.
“It won’t deliver certainty and the people should have the final say.”
“I totally understand the frustration and the fatigue across the country and in this House.
“But we simply cannot vote for a deal that is even worse than the one this House rejected three times.”
Jeremy Corbyn blasted Boris Johnson’s deal, saying it was worse than Mrs May’s thrice-rejected deal
10.02am update: Mr Johnson says any future trade negotiations with any country means “our NHS will not be on the table”
He said in his speech: “I am convinced that an overwhelming majority in this House regardless of our personal views, wishes to see Brexit delivered in accordance with the referendum.
“In this crucial mission there can no longer be any argument for further delay.
“As someone who passionately believed that we had to go back to our European friends to seek a better agreement, I must tell the House that with this new deal the scope for future negotiation, for fruitful negotiation has run its course.
“But it is now my judgement that we have reached the best possible solution.”
Mr Johnson als said he wants Parliament to have a role in future trade negotiations.
He said: “I do not this wish this project to be the project of any one government or any one party. But rather the endeavour of the United Kingdom as a whole.
“Only this Parliament can make this new relationship the work of the nation. And so Parliament should be at the heart of decision-making as we develop our approach and I acknowledge that in the past we have not always acted, perhaps, in that spirit.”
Mr Johnson said the Government would protect standards in the future.
He said: “No-one believes in lowering. Instead, we believe in improving them,” adding: “And these restored powers will be available not simply to this Government but to every future British Government of any party to use as they see fit.
“That is what restoring sovereignty means, that is what is meant in practise by taking back control of our destiny.”
10am update: Corbyn blasts Mr Johnson’s deal
Speaking to the Commons, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Johnson has negotiated a deal “that is even worse than the original withdrawal agreement”.
He added Mr Johnson is “not being honest” about the impact of the deal on manufacturing and jobs.
He said the vote for the deal would be a vote to cut jobs all around the country and allow a “Trump trade deal … exposing our families to chlorinated chicken”.
9.59am update: Mr Johnson calls for MPs to reconcile their differences over Brexit.
He told MPs: “The House will need no reminding that this is the second deal and the fourth vote, three-and-a-half years after the nation voted for Brexit.
“And during those years friendships have been strained, families divided and the attention of this House consumed by a single issue that has at times felt incapable of resolution.
“But I hope that this is the moment when we can finally achieve that resolution and reconcile the instincts that compete within us.”
Speaker John Bercow welcomes MPs into the Commons on Saturday morning
9.52am update: What is the Letwin amendment?
The Conservative rebels are far from letting things lie today as they ramp up for Saturday’s critical vote on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.
Former Tory Cabinet minister Oliver Lewtin has put forward an amendment which seeks to withhold approval for the PM’s deal until legislation implementing the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has become law.
This means that essential the amendment would withhold approval of the deal until the legislation to enact it was safely passed.
The move that would automatically trigger the Benn Act, which would subsequently force the prime minister to request a further postponement of Brexit until January 31.
The Letwin amendment would deprive the PM from being able to make meaningful steps with his Brexit vote today and would essentially force his hand in asking for an extension from the EU.
During his discussion with EU leaders at the EU Summit, Mr Johnson attempted to persuade MPs to back his deal by negotiating the removal of a deadline extension with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
9.48am update: Boris Johnson says this deal provides for a real Brexit
Speaking ahead of the vote today, the Prime Minister urged MPs in the Commons to back his deal saying he hopes today “is the moment we can finally” resolve Brexit.
He said: “I do hope in assembing for the purposes of a meaningful vote that we will indeed be allowed to have a meaningful vote.
“I hope … that this is the moment when we can finally achieve that resolution and reconcile the instincts that compete within us.”
9.40am update: Commons is sitting
Speaker John Bercow welcomed MPs to this morning’s session – the first to be held on a Saturday in 37 years.
Mr Bercow selected the Letwin amendment for debate, as well as the Kyle-Wilson amendment to the second motion.
Mr Johnson is now presenting his deal to the Commons.
9.39am update: Meaningful vote date to potentially be re-arranged
Laura Kuenssberg tweeted: “Also hear if Letwin passes today Govvernment will try to bring meaningful vote on the whole withdrawal bill on Tuesday.”
9.30am update: DUP speak in ERG meeting after they back voting for deal
DUP’s Sammy Wilson told ERG members: “Do you want to go into an election with a withdrawal agreement bill where there have been such changes to it that the Brexit party will tear you apart? They will say you have not delivered on Brexit.
“This deal, while it may help UK to leave EU it leaves Northern Ireland within a customs territory and single market.”
Boris Johnson sent a letter to the EU this evening
9.09am update: Lobbying operation starts to stop Letwin’s amendment
Tory MPs are said to be trying to convince Mr Letwin to drop his amendment.
But he does not appear to be listening to them.
Buzzfeed’s Alex Wickham tweeted: “Massive lobbying operation now underway by Tory MPs trying to persuade Oliver Letwin to pull his amendment His phone is lighting up with angry texts and calls from both Brexiters and Remainers… but doesn’t look like he’s budging.”
8.46am update: ERG agrees to back Mr Johnson’s deal
Sky News’ Westminster reporter Rob Powell has said the ERG will vote in favour of the deal following a meeting this morning.
He tweeted: “ERG chairman Steve Baker recommends the hard brexiteers vote *for* a deal.”
Mark Francois confirmed to ERG that he’ll vote with Government.
He said: “Today, we can bring part of this to an end. In the voting lobbies, we should vote with a happy heart, clear heads and godspeed.”