Brexit news latest: David Davis says government may have 'legal strategy' to avoid EU extension beyond October 31

James Morris
David Davis speaking at Channel 5's 'Are Politicians Up to It?' debate earlier this month (file image): David Mirzoeff/PA

Former Brexit secretary and Boris Johnson backer David Davis has said the government may have a “legal strategy” to avoid extending Britain’s EU membership beyond October 31 – before saying he has “no idea what it is”.

The Brexiteer suggested the government may be able to fight the so-called Benn Act to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The legislation, which received royal assent earlier this week, would require the Prime Minister to seek an extension unless a divorce deal is approved or Parliament agrees to leaving the EU without a deal by October 19.

But Mr Davis told BBC Radio 4's The Week In Westminster on Saturday: “I think there may well be a legal strategy - I've no idea what it is - but I think that may well be the way through.

David Davis speaking at Channel 5's 'Are Politicians Up to It?' debate earlier this month (file image) (David Mirzoeff/PA)

“To effectively legally kill off the Benn Bill and then find a way of coming back to the negotiations with a real sword of Damocles over them, the Europeans, rather than over us.”

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Prime Minister Mr Johnson has repeatedly said he will take Britain out of the EU at the end of next month, and said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than ask for an extension.

Mr Davis’s comments came as Cabinet member Nicky Morgan contradicted Mr Johnson’s position by saying she would vote Remain in a second referendum.

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Read more Cabinet member Morgan admits she'd vote Remain in second referendum

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