A LEADING think tank has backed up suggestions that MPs have little chance of stopping Boris Johnson pushing through a No-Deal Brexit when Parliament returns next month.

The Institute for Government (IFG) said MPs may have limited opportunities to stop a No Deal and that if Johnson loses a vote of confidence, he may try to plough on regardless.

The findings echo the reported view of Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings. He is said to have told the Prime Minister that opponents of No Deal had left it too late. The IFG report said there was less scope for MPs to make their voices heard before October 31 than there was under Theresa May in the run-up to the previous March 29 deadline.

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Government control of Commons business meant it could be difficult for MPs to repeat the process which led to the passing of the “Cooper Act” in March, which required May to seek the current extension. Prior to that, efforts to influence the course of Brexit depended on processes set out in the EU Withdrawal Act which required the Commons to endorse any deal in a “meaningful vote”.

It also required further votes if the Government wanted to leave without a deal although these were tied to a specific date – January 21 – which has long since passed.

“It is now of no use to MPs who want to express their view on No Deal; if Johnson is set on No Deal he will not need to schedule any further meaningful votes,” the report said.

MPs could use opposition day debates or backbench business motions to express their opposition to a No-Deal, but the report said these would be non-binding and would lack “legal teeth”. Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested the Government need not pay attention to “mere motions”.

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Opponents of No Deal would still have the “nuclear option” of trying to pass a vote of no confidence in the Government, although the report said that there were “risks” involved in this approach too.

If the Government lost there would be 14 days for Johnson to win another confidence vote or for an alternative government to be formed. Otherwise there has to be a General Election. Cummings has reportedly advised Johnson that he could delay polling day until after October 31, by which time Britain would be out of the EU.

The report acknowledged such a tactic may be possible although highly contentious and potentially open to legal challenge.