Boris Johnson is threatening to abandon Brexit legislation passing through Parliament rather than accept a customs union or second referendum, rebel MPs were warned last night.

Boris Johnson is threatening to abandon Brexit legislation passing through Parliament rather than accept a customs union or second referendum, rebel MPs were warned last night.

Mr Johnson is attempting to get his 110-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the Commons and the Lords in the space of a week.

But there are growing doubts on the legislation as Labour MPs plan amendments that allow for a customs union and a second referendum.

If any amendment passes, the prime minister is expected to abandon the legislation and accept the need for an extension - and then demand an immediate general election.

In other developments yesterday, Conservative MP Michael Gove warned that Northern Ireland may come under 'direct rule' in a no-deal situation.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay also infuriated the DUP by admitting Northern Ireland businesses would be forced to fill out export declaration forms when sending goods to the rest of Britain under Mt Johnson's Brexit deal with the EU.

Appearing in front of the House of Lords European Union committee, Mr Barclay initially said he did not believe the forms would be necessary as trade would be "frictionless". But clarifying himself minutes later, he told peers: "Just to be clear, exit summary declarations will be required in terms of NI to GB".

DUP's Brexit spokesperson Sammy Wilson said it was a "clear breach" of the government's commitment to "allow unfettered access to GB market for NI businesses".

With just nine days left until the UK is due to leave the EU, the divorce is again in disarray - as Britain's politicians argue over whether to leave with a deal, exit without a deal or hold another referendum.

Mr Johnson plans to fast-track legislation to ratify his deal through the House of Commons in just three days.

Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs that debate on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill would start today - with ministers hoping to get it through all its Commons stages by Thursday.

If they are successful, it could pave the way for the House of Lords to sit over the weekend in time for the bill to receive its royal assent at the start of next week.

However, they are likely to face opposition attempts to amend the legislation, including the "programme motion" setting out the Commons timetable for the bill.

Mr Rees-Mogg warned MPs that if the programme motion was defeated, they would not be able to get it through Parliament in time for the UK to leave with a deal on October 31.

European Council President Donald Tusk had acknowledged receiving a request from the UK government for Brexit to be delayed again, and is now talking with the other EU leaders about it.

Those 27 leaders are weary of the long-running Brexit saga but also want to avoid a damaging no-deal Brexit.

Germany's economy minister suggested it could be a few days before the EU decided to respond to the Brexit delay request.

Peter Altmaier said he wouldn't have a problem with an extension by "a few days or a few weeks" if that ruled out a no-deal Brexit.

But French President Emmanuel Macron called for a quick clarification of the UK position. In a statement, he said a delay "would not be in any party's interest".

Earlier, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow rejected a bid by ministers for a fresh meaningful vote on Mr Johnson's agreement struck last week with Brussels.

Mr Bercow ruled the special Commons sitting on Saturday had voted to delay approval until the implementing legislation had been passed, and that any further vote would be "repetitive and disorderly" under House rules.
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