Opposition leaders plot to stop Johnson no-deal Brexit

Opposition party leaders will meet for further talks in Westminster on Monday in a bid to ensure Boris Johnson cannot push through a no-deal Brexit against the will of Parliament.

The leaders are expected to discuss a plan by Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson to force the Prime Minister to go to Brussels to seek another Brexit delay as early as this weekend.

Parliament has already passed the so-called Benn Act requiring him to request a further extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process if he cannot get a new agreement by October 19.

But some on the opposition side fear that could leave too little time to take action through the courts if Mr Johnson tries to circumvent the legislation and push through a no-deal break.

While he has repeatedly said he will abide by the law, the Prime Minister has also insisted the UK will leave the EU on October 31, come what may.

A Liberal Democrat source confirmed Ms Swinson would be putting forward the idea of bringing forward the deadline for seeking an extension when she meets counterparts from Labour, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens.

"I expect it to be discussed at the meeting. It is certainly Jo's intention that it should," the source told PA.

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, signalled his support for the Lib Dem plan, saying he would back any measure which prevented Mr Johnson bypassing the Benn Act.

"All of us have got to work together. I'm not precious. Everyone is much more aware of what he is capable of," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"There is no doubt that he will seek to frustrate the legislation in place as we head towards the second half of October."

A Labour source said: "We are looking at all mechanisms and additional legal safeguards to block no-deal and ensure the PM complies with the Benn Act."

The move could see Tory MPs and ministers forced to abandon their party conference in Manchester and dash back to Westminster if the opposition stage an ambush to seize control of the Commons agenda.

Unusually, the Commons is sitting during conference after MPs refused to grant the Government the customary recess in the bitter aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling that Mr Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful.

The latest plan comes after the SNP failed to win support for a tabling no-confidence motion with a view to forming an interim government if they succeeded in toppling Mr Johnson.

Under the proposal, the temporary administration would have sought an extension from the EU and then immediately called a general election.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the stage with his partner Carrie Symonds after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (centre) is given a pat on the back by Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, as he leaves the stage after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on stage giving his speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering his speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Prime Minister Boris Johnson exits the hall with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds following his keynote speech on day four of the 2019 Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 2, 2019 in Manchester, England. The U.K. government prepares to formally submit its finalised Brexit plan to the EU today. The offer replaces the Northern Irish Backstop with border, customs and regulatory checks lasting until 2025. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) is kissed by his partner Carrie Symonds as they leave after he delivered his keynote speech to delegates on the final day of the annual Conservative Party conference at the Manchester Central convention complex, in Manchester, north-west England on October 2, 2019. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to unveil his plan for a new Brexit deal at his Conservative party conference Wednesday, warning the EU it is that or Britain leaves with no agreement this month. Downing Street said Johnson would give details of a "fair and reasonable compromise" in his closing address to the gathering in Manchester, and would table the plans in Brussels the same day. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson, the partner and father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, watch him deliver his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a thumbs up as he leaves the stage after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Delegates cheer with Union Jack flags to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's arrival to deliver his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the stage with his partner Carrie Symonds as he is congratulated by his father Stanley Johnson after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering his speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson, the partner and father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, watch him deliver his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Home Secretary Priti Patel leads the cabinet ministers into the hall ahead of the Prime Minister's keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is kissed by his partner his partner Carrie Symonds, after delivering his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivering his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his speech during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Jacob Rees-Mogg during the final day of the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment
Carrie Symonds arrives at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Boris Johnson during the final day of the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment
Police arrive at the Conservative Party Conference after a "small misunderstanding" when an attendee, believed to be Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for The Cotswolds, tried to enter the International Lounge at the Manchester Convention Centre without the relevant pass, triggering a lockdown. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police attend the Conservative Party Conference after a "small misunderstanding" when an attendee, believed to be Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for The Cotswolds, tried to enter the International Lounge at the Manchester Convention Centre without the relevant pass, triggering a lockdown. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Police officers lock down the International Lounge after an unspecified incident on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central at Manchester Central on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: People are directed away from the International Lounge after an unspecified incident caused it to be locked down on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central at Manchester Central on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Paramedics are stood down following an unspecified incident caused the lock down of the International Lounge during on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central at Manchester Central on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Stanley Johnson, is seen on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 1, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, during the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Central Convention Complex, Manchester on Tuesday 1 October 2019 (Photo by P Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Home Secretary Priti Patel after making her keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Home Secretary Priti Patel delivers her keynote speech on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Tuesday October 1, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson arrives ahead of day two of the 2019 Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, the Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Former Thomas Cook cabin crew and staff protesting outside the Manchester Convention Centre at the Conservative Party Conference. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, Lord President of the Council and MP for North East Somerset speaks at day one of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester , England , 29 September 2019. (Photo by Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Armed British police officers hold their weapons as they stand on duty outside the annual Conservative Party conference at the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, north-west England on September 30, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
People listen to speakers at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove on stage at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
A Boris doll at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
(left to right) International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace during the "Builiding a Safe and Prosperous Britain" session on day one of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Sunday September 29, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Stands selling merchandise at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg delivers a speech during the "Delivering Brexit" session on day one of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove during the "Delivering Brexit" session on day one of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab delivers a speech during the "Delivering Brexit" session on day one of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre
(left to right) Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove on stage at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to North Manchester General Hospital before the Conservative Conference starts at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Stands selling merchandise at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove arrives to Manchester Central on day one of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to North Manchester General Hospital before the Conservative Conference starts at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets patient Mark Mountaine during a visit to North Manchester General Hospital before the Conservative Conference starts at the Manchester Convention Centre.
Former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy (left) and former Labour political advisor James Mills playing in the annual party conference football game between Conservative MPs and a team of journalists at the City Football Academy Stadium, Manchester.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks with his partner Carrie Symonds as they arrive at The Midland, near the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019, on the eve of the annual Conservative Party conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives, accompanied by partner Carrie Symonds, ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, as the Tories have insisted it will go ahead despite the Commons voting against the Government's request for a three-day recess to coincide with the event.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive at the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Preparations underway ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, as the Tories have insisted it will go ahead despite the Commons voting against the Government's request for a three-day recess to coincide with the event.
Police at preparations ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, as the Tories have insisted it will go ahead despite the Commons voting against the Government's request for a three-day recess to coincide with the event.
Police at preparations ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, as the Tories have insisted it will go ahead despite the Commons voting against the Government's request for a three-day recess to coincide with the event.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care leaves the Midland Hotel for a media appearance on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference on September 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: James Cleverly, Chairman of the Conservative Party leaves the Midland Hotel for a media appearance on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference on September 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Priti Patel, Secretary of State for the Home Department leaves the Midland Hotel for a media appearance on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference on September 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the Midland Hotel for a media appearance on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference on September 29, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) walks with his partner Carrie Symonds as they arrive at The Midland, near the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019, on the eve of the annual Conservative Party conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray (2L) and fellow protesters are seen outside the Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Armed Police are seen outside the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray holds placards outside the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Police patrol outside the Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers help prepare an auditorium with Conservative Party branding inside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Workers help prepare Conservative Party branding inside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Conservative Party branded banners are seen outside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
A Conservative Party branded tent outside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Conservative Party branded banners and police are seen outside Manchester Central convention centre, the venue of the annual Conservative Party conference, in Manchester, northwest England on September 28, 2019 on the eve of the start of the conference. - Embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gathers his Conservative party Sunday for what could be its final conference before an election, and is set to be dominated by fighting talk on Brexit. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: A man holds a European Union flag as he stands outside the Midland hotel ahead of the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, the Conservative Party Conference is still going ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: A general view of the Manchester Central Convention Complex ahead of the Conservative Party Conference on September 28, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess the Conservative Party Conference is still going ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Armed police officers are called to an incident as yet unspecified that caused the lock down of the International Lounge during on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central at Manchester Central on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, England. Despite Parliament voting against a government motion to award a recess, Conservative Party Conference still goes ahead. Parliament will continue with its business for the duration. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
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However the other parties were wary, amid concerns Mr Johnson could have tried to hang on in No 10 and delay an election until after October 31 by which time Britain would be out.

There were also sharp difference between the parties over who would lead such a government.

Jeremy Corbyn has said that, as the leader of the biggest opposition party in the Commons, he should have first crack at forming an administration – a position broadly supported by the SNP.

However Ms Swinson has been adamant that she would not be prepared to put the Labour leader in No 10.

Her view is shared by many of the rebel Tory MPs who lost the whip after rebelling over Brexit and whose votes would be needed if the plan was to succeed.

Some MPs have suggested that a more consensual figure such as Ken Clarke or Dame Margaret Beckett could stand a better chance of uniting the parties.

Other ideas floating around Westminster include tabling another bill to enable Commons Speaker John Bercow to seek an extension from Brussels if Mr Johnson refuses to do so.

Meanwhile, ministers insist they can still get an agreement with the EU which would allow Britain to leave on October 31 with a deal – despite the gloomy noises that have been coming out of Brussels.

Diplomats in the Belgian capital have said they expect the British side finally to table its proposals for resolving the issue of the Northern Ireland backstop once the Tory conference finishes on Wednesday.

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