The UK could still crash out of the European Union on October 31 without a deal – an outcome all the opposition parties, bar the Democratic Unionists, wish to prevent.

As things stand, the default position is that Britain leaves the EU at the end of October with or without a deal.

The European Union (Withdrawal) (No 6) Bill went through the Commons on Wednesday but also needs to pass the House of Lords on Friday before Parliament is prorogued next week.

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If the Bill passes in the Lords, a no-deal Brexit will be prevented, but there is much horse-trading to be done before that.

If it does pass, then the Government intends on Monday to again seek the backing of two-thirds of MPs to call a general election.

So where do the various opposition parties stand?


Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wants said the Bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit must become law before he would entertain the thought of heading to the polls.

“Let the Bill pass and have Royal Assent and then we can have a general election,” he said.

Prime Minister’s QuestionsJo Swinson (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA)

Liberal Democrats

After MP Phillip Lee defected from the Tories to the Lib Dems this week while Boris Johnson was speaking in Parliament, party leader Jo Swinson said: “The Prime Minister has lost his majority, with (Dr Lee) joining the Liberal Democrats.

“Doctors like him tell me they want to stop Brexit because it will plunge our NHS into deep crisis, haemorrhaging vital staff and threatening access to life-saving medicines.

“When will the Prime Minister stop playing with people’s lives and stop Brexit?”

Scottish National Party

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in the House of Commons, tweeted on Thursday night: “We should not be distracted by the games of Boris Johnson – the UK Government must deliver on ending the threat of a no-deal Brexit.”

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Independent Group for Change

Independent Group for Change MP Chris Leslie tweeted on Thursday night that the Prime Minister is “trying to blackmail the country with a false choice, making out it must be either his appalling no-deal Brexit … or a hard left Corbyn government”.

Green Party

Caroline Lucas, the sole Green Party MP, said: “We’re being let down by a Tory Government that’s driving through a dangerous Brexit.”

She also said “an extreme Brexit will be a disaster for Britain (and) the public deserve a say on the Government’s Brexit deal”.

MP portraitsLiz Saville Roberts (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts, said: “We face one of the weakest Governments in history, without a majority and hamstrung by a mess of their own making. Boris Johnson is on the ropes and we must not give him the reprieve of a general election on his terms.

“Voting for the Government motion will undermine the progress we have made blocking a no-deal Brexit.

“If other opposition parties’ priority is stopping this Brexit mess, now is a better time than any to take control and deliver a fresh referendum.”