The prime minister Boris Johnson plans to use a historic Saturday sitting of Parliament to ask approval for a no deal Brexit in the event that negotiations with the EU end without a new deal.
The sitting, confirmed for 19 October, will be the first Saturday sitting of Parliament in recent decades. It could see MPs being asked to sign off on any new deal agreed at the make or break European Council on 17-18 October.
However, in the increasingly likely event that no new deal is agreed, MPs could be asked to give the go ahead to a 31 October no deal exit.
Under the Benn Act, 19 October is also the date the prime minister must request an extension to the Brexit deadline. The prime minister plans to take advantage of a condition in the Act that says this requirement is void if Parliament approves a no deal exit before then.
The government will frame the 19 October no deal vote as the final chance to secure the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 October. It is certain Parliament will vote against no deal, playing into the government’s pre-election narrative that Parliament is blocking the will of the people.
Once any extension has been agreed, Opposition leaders look likely to allow a snap general election to take place.