Speaker John Bercow is asking MPs not to treat each other as enemies
– Copyright REUTERS
The UK’s junior minister for Brexit has told MPs the government intends to get a new deal with the EU ahead of the 31 October deadline for leaving the EU, as a means to get around a law requiring the Prime Minister to request an extension.
James Duddridge repeatedly refused to answer whether Boris Johnson would write to the EU asking for an extension to the 31 October deadline for leaving the bloc, as he is required to do by law, should he fail to secure a new deal.
Instead he just told lawmakers: “The government will obey the law”.
The questions followed a crushing defeat for the Prime Minister in the Supreme Court, which found unanimously his attempt to suspend Parliament was unlawful.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party has accused Boris Johnson of refusing to face MPs, who were set to question him about controversial language he used in the House of Commons yesterday.
Instead Johnson met a group of Conservative MPs in Westminster, telling them he was convinced he could get a Brexit deal, but if he didn’t the UK would simply leave the EU on 31 October, according to one MP in the room.
The Speaker of the House John Bercow opened the day in Parliament on Thursday telling MPs to stop treating each other as enemies after several criticised the PM’s rhetoric for deepening division in the country on Wednesday.
“Yesterday the House (of Commons) did itself no credit. There was an atmosphere in the chamber worse than any I have known in the 22 years in the house…the culture was toxic,” Bercow said in parliament.
“May I just ask…colleagues please to lower the decibel level and to treat each other as opponents and not as enemies.”
On Wednesday, after one lawmaker Paula Sherriff told the House she had received death threats, with many echoing the prime minister’s own words, Johnson replied: “I have never heard so much humbug in my life”, sparking uproar on the opposition benches.
The husband of an MP who was murdered a week before the 2016 EU referendum said he was shocked by the vicious cycle of inflammatory language on display on both sides in Parliament, saying both sides should ponder the impact of their language.
Jo Cox, a 41-year-old Labour MP was murdered on June 16, 2016 by Thomas Mair, a loner obsessed with Nazis and extreme right-wing ideology.
Her husband Brendan told the BBC: “To descend into this bear pit of polarization is dangerous for our country,” he told the BBC. “It creates an atmosphere where violence and attacks are more likely.”
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