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Brexit and the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011

The tussle between the Remainers who want a People's Vote and the Brexiteers  who are not prepared to contemplate any  further blockage on the road to Brexit on 31st October 2019, continues.

On 5th August 2019, City AM reports that Dominic Cummings, lead adviser to the Prime Minister and former leading figure behind the "Vote Leave" campaign at the time of the 2016 Referendum, has allegedly advised UK Government Ministers that it is now too late for 'Remainer' MPs to block a 'no deal' Brexit even if the House of Commons passes a vote of "no confidence" in the Government, as permitted by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011("the Act").

Under section 2 of the Act, 14 days must elapse after the day of a "no confidence" vote,without a counter-motion that "this House has confidence in Her Majesty's Government" being passed, before steps can be taken to dissolve Parliament and convene a General Election to elect a new House of Commons.

Even then, according to Mr Cummings' reported views, the Prime Minister can take his or her time before formally requesting the Queen to issue the proclamation for a new General Election  - by which time, so the argument goes,  the "die" will be cast (in every sense) and Brexit will have occurred,

"It ain't necessarily so!" , say the Remainers and the same City AM reports one "senior Tory rebel" as saying that in the 14 - day "cooling -off" period mentioned above there may well be time to put together a Government of National Unity to reverse gears and set the country on the course to a "People's Vote".

Unsurprisingly, there are also newspaper reports circulating that even if one got to the stage of a General Election being convened, tactical voting by the Remainer camp (in the manner that allegedly took place in the Brecon & Radnorshire bye-election on 1st August 2019 which saw a Remainer MP being  elected to Parliament on the back of an informal alliance between three Remain - supporting parties) could ensure that they win a majority and are able to put a block on a "no deal" Brexit.

For those who in the Summer of 2019 have survived a thrillingly tight Wimbledon men's tennis final and the narrowest of England victories in the cricket World Cup, the tension may almost be too much to bear but it does seem to many people, at least on the 6th August 2019, that the Brexit contest may well go down to the wire.

The role of the Courts in settling the "no deal" Brexit  debate may well become critical between now and Hallowe'en 2019.