Government considered plan to create more bank holidays to stop MPs debating Brexit

PUBLISHED: 09:40 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:40 30 August 2019

Conservative MP Mark Francois surrounded by anti-Brexit campaigners as he defends the government proroguing parliament. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA.

Conservative MP Mark Francois surrounded by anti-Brexit campaigners as he defends the government proroguing parliament. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Government officials 'war gaming' ways to stop MPs thwarting Brexit before October 31st have considered creating more bank holidays to stop them sitting in the House of Commons.

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According to Buzzfeed giving the UK more bank holidays before October 31st is just one idea considered to avoid MPs having being able to fully scrutinise the government's Brexit plans and throw a spanner in the works.

Other ideas discussed include Boris Johnson clinging on to power even if he loses a vote of no-confidence, holding a potential budget to create new Commons debate, using the prorogation of parliament to kill off bills so they have to be re-tabled, filibustering any bills from rebel MPs when it reaches the House of Lords, and asking the Queen not to give royal assent to any legislation related to delaying Brexit.

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Downing Street has claimed that it is not attempting to prevent MPs from debating and scrutinising the government's Brexit plans, and that the prorogation of parliament is simply to hold a Queen's Speech for new legislation.

But ministers privately admit that Brexit is the reason for the suspension of parliament, with one rebuked by Number 10 when microphones picked up his comments that suggested just that.

A spokesperson for Downing Street said that the defence secretary Ben Wallace "misspoke" when he made the comments.

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