The Prime Minister could be jailed if he refuses to delay Brexit, the former Director of Public Prosecutions has said.
Boris Johnson has indicated he would rather “die in a ditch” than go to Europe and ask for the extension, despite MPs having voted through a law forcing him to delay a no-deal Brexit.
The bill is expected to receive royal assent on Monday, thereby completing all stages required to become law.
According to Sky News, the former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord McDonald has said it is ‘likely’ Johnson will face court action if he refuses to comply with the newly-passed law.
“I’ve been talking to former Director of Public Prosecutions, Lord MacDonald, now a cross-bench peer and he said it is likely that this court action could lead to some sort of order from a judge, from a court, forcing Boris Johnson to comply with the law and, if Boris Johnson continues to refuse to comply with that, he could be held in contempt of court,” Rob Powell, reporter for Sky News, told the channel.
“Contempt of court by convention carries a prison sentence, which could mean that the prime minister could go to jail. Now I asked him if this was an extreme outcome and he said ‘No, it’s not an extreme outcome, it is by convention that if you are found guilty of contempt of court, of defying a court order, then you are jailed.'”
Leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn today suggested Mr Johnson felt he is “above the law”.
Critics say the position leaves our leader in “a bit of a corner”.
Lord MacDonald held the senior prosecutor post between 2003 and 2008.
Dominic Grieve, an MP expelled from the Conservatives this week for backing an anti-no-deal law and former attorney general, also told the channel Mr Johnson could be locked up.
He said: “He would be ordered to send the letter and, if he didn’t send the letter, he would be sent to prison for contempt.”
Speaking previously, Mr Johnson, 55, dubbed the bill the “surrender bill” and said it has scuppered his Brexit negotiations with the EU by removing the threat of no-deal.
Opposition parties have said they will vote to reject his plea for a general election for a second time on Monday.
Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords Dick Newby said: “Despite cynical attempts from Tory backbenchers to filibuster, the Article 50 Extension Bill has seen safe passage through the House of Lords.
“It seems that – unlike our suitcases – their threats of disruption were empty.”
Liberal Democrats in both the Lords and the Commons have fought tirelessly against the attempts by the Prime Minister to force a disastrous no-deal Brexit, and this Bill is an important step towards trying to sort out the mess the Government has made.”