Some reaction to Raab’s comments this morning and his refusal to confirm election plans that have been briefed to journalists by his own government.
Dominic Raab: rebel bill is “deeply irresponsible”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been speaking to broadcasters this morning. He told BBC radio 4’s Today programme that the bill put forward by opposition and rebel Tory MPs was deeply irresponsible.
The one handbrake on getting the country moving is this lingering doubt in Brussels that Brexit could be cancelled or delayed which is why this legislation is deeply irresponsible and I think no MP that wants to deliver on Brexit and wants to get a deal should vote for it.
He said the government didn’t want an election and that a deal with the European Union was in sight. Raab if an election were to be called it would have been forced on the country by parliament.
The prime minister is clear we don’t want an election. I don’t think the country wants an election. We cannot countenance any further delay because it stops the country from moving forward, so the real question is – whether it’s with the shenanigans in parliament and a deeply irresponsible and counter productive bill – whether we get an election forced on the country by parliament.
He was asked about briefings that a possible date for an election would be 14 October.
What we are absolutely saying right now is that we don’t want an election.
Barwell: government’s Brexit negotiations “a sham”
Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s former chief of staff, is up and tweeting. It doesn’t make good reading for No10. The MP for Croydon Central has backed up reports in the Telegraph that the government’s Brexit negotiations with the EU are “a sham” and urged the prime minister to publish his Irish backstop plans.
Register to vote
If you’ve got a spare five minutes this morning before the parliamentary action gets going, please remember to register to vote if you haven’t done already. Here’s the link. You might need your national insurance number handy, according to the website.
The BBC’s Samira Ahmed has a useful reminder for students about to head off to university or people with especially busy Mondays: register for a proxy vote. Again, here’s the link.
It’s Frances Perraudin here, taking over the live blog for a few hours.
Here’s a bit more on the Justine Greening announcement. She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that she would remain a Tory member but that the decision to stand down as an MP had been on her mind for some time. “This is not an overnight decision,” she said.
She said “communities elect people to represent them” and that she had no doubt the next MP for Putney would be pro-remain, as that was the position of the majority of her constituents.
It’s very clear to me that my concerns about the Conservative party becoming the Brexit party, in effect, have come to pass, so my decision is that if I really want to make a difference on opportunity and social mobility, I need to do that outside parliament.
She said she didn’t think the Conservative party would “offer people a sensible choice at the next election”.
Greening said: “Boris Johnson is going to offer people a general election that faces them with a choice between no deal or Jeremy Corbyn. That is a lose-lose general election for Britain and I think a far better way of resolving a path forward on Brexit is to give people a direct choice on the different options on Brexit themselves, rather than a messy general election, which I believe, yet again, will be inconclusive on a route forward on Brexit.”
I’m staggered that all these months and years, Jeremy Corbyn has been calling for a general election and it seems that my government is about to hand him that prize on a plate.
Justine Greening to stand down at next election
Justine Greening, the MP for Putney, has just announced on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme she will not stand in the next election. She blamed “concerns about the Conservative party becoming the Brexit party” and says she can do more for social mobility outside parliament.
William Hague says election is the only way to solve Brexit crisis
Press Assocation has this report:
The former Conservative party leader William Hague has called for Britain to go to the polls, saying the only way to solve the Brexit crisis is by electing a new parliament.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Hague said the current parliament had shown itself to be unworkable, regardless of any strategies employed by Mr Johnson.
“We have a parliament that cannot go backwards, forwards, or agree to sit still,” Mr Hague wrote.
“It is unable to agree on the best or prepare for the worst. While we should not blame all the individuals in it, many of whom have striven to avoid this paralysis, the collective effect of this Rubik’s Cube of a House of Commons is that it cannot properly serve the country in any scenario that we can now construct.
“It is the most seriously defunct parliament of modern times. There is only one solution to that. It is the one adopted in each of our serious constitutional crises of recent centuries.
“In 1910, when the Lords refused to bow to the elected government; in 1831, as the arguments raged over the great reform bill; in 1784, as the Commons rebelled against the king’s choice of ministers, the argument was settled by the electorate being asked to choose a new parliament.
“The right course for Boris Johnson is not to prorogue parliament but to seek to dissolve it.”
Hague said he liked many things about the Johnson administration but “a long suspension of parliament as a political tactic is not … something that I can defend”.
“If it is so divided and incapable, and so irreconcilable with the government – all of which it is – this parliament needs to be replaced with a new one,” he said.
There appears to be some division in the Labour ranks on the question of whether they would welcome a general election.
Speaking at a rally in Salford last night, Jeremy Corbyn said Labour was ready to “take the fight to the Tories”.
“I am proud to lead our party, I’m proud to take the fight to the Tories and I will be delighted when the election comes. I’m ready for it, you’re ready for it, we’re ready for it, we’ll take the message out there and above all we will win for the people of this country.”
However, Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary Tony Lloyd later appeared to contradict his leader, saying Labour would first push to have legislation passed blocking a no-deal Brexit.
“We will in fact work through the parliamentary process to make sure that this law is passed,” Mr Lloyd told BBC Two’s Newsnight.
“Obviously once we’ve guaranteed that we pass October the 31st and don’t have a no-deal Brexit, of course we want an election.”
Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull North, Diana Johnson, tweeted this morning that she “will not be supporting any attempt by the PM to force a General Election at this time of national crisis.”
Need more of your senses engaged with Brexit news? The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland has joined Anushka Asthana on our daily podcast Today in Focus to discuss a pivotal week ahead in British politics.
Good morning and welcome to politics live on what is shaping up to be a day of high political drama.
A coalition of cross-party MPs are expected to put forward legislation today that would force Boris Johnson to request a delay to Brexit.
The bill, which the MPs hope to push through parliament at high speed if they seize control of the Commons timetable, would require Johnson to extend departure until 31 January, unless MPs backed a deal or approved no deal.
However, Johnson issued an ultimatum to rebel MPs saying that if they were to push ahead with the bill, he would call a snap general election next month – something Jerebyn Corbyn says he is delighted about.
Johnson made the announcement in a televised address outside No 10 that was punctuated by protesters crying out “stop the coup”. He said there were “no circumstances” under which departure from the EU would not happen on 31 October.
Johnson said the backbench bill, signed by the former chancellor Philip Hammond, the ex-justice secretary David Gauke and others, would “chop the legs out” from the UK’s Brexit negotiations.
Today could be a very significant day, as the success or failure of the vote on the bill slated to be brought before parliament will have a huge impact on the shape of the weeks to come.
I’m Kate Lyons and will be at the helm of the blog for the first little while, before handing over to my colleagues. I do a lot of live-blogging and this is hands down the most lively, interactive group of readers I get the occasional privilege of blogging to, which makes things much more fun, so please get in touch – via the comments, on Twitter or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your thoughts, questions, jokes etc.
Deep breath in, let’s go!