The Conservative Party Attorney General has confirmed that the government will ask the EU for a three-month Brexit extension if Boris Johnson cannot agree a renegotiated deal with EU leaders at the upcoming summit, scheduled for October 17-18th.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the former Tory MP Nick Boles – who is now sitting as an Independent – asked the Attorney General whether the government would comply with Hilary Benn’s bill compelling the government to seek a Brexit extension if a deal cannot be agreed:
“Having lost in court, the Attorney General is keen to try his hand at another test of an Election – and maybe I can help him.”
“In Paragraph 41 of their unanimous judgement, the Supreme Court referred to two fundamental principles of our constitutional law: the first is the principal of Parliamentary sovereignty – that laws, enacted by the crown in Parliament, are the supreme form of law in our legal system, with which everyone, including the government, must comply.”
“Can the attorney General confirm that he and the government will comply with the law – known as the Benn act – recently passed by this Parliament, that has received royal assent?”
The Attorney General responded entirely unambiguously, simply replying “Yes.”
Cox’s response is the first clear indication that the government are intending to comply with Hilary Benn’s bill to seek a Brexit extension.
When asked previously, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly attempted to evade the question by simply stating that the United Kingdom would be leaving the EU on October 31st.
The promise made by the Attorney General to extend Article 50 will undoubtedly be met with derision by Brexit supporters.