Published On: Fri, Aug 30th, 2019

Brexit news: Dominic Raab tears apart Remainer arguments over Johnson plan – ‘Lawful!’ | UK | News

The Foreign Secretary insisted there will be time either side of the October European Council summit for MPs to “scrutinise” Britain’s departure from the European Union. He dismissed the Prime Minister’s angry critics, declaring the plan to prorogue Parliament as “lawful and proper”. He went on to say that EU countries now understand that Britain is leaving the bloc and are keen to hold talks on future foreign policy issues.

Speaking on the fringes of an EU ministerial gathering in Helsinki, Mr Raab told reporters: “The idea that this is some kind of constitutional outrage is nonsense.

“It’s actually lawful, it’s perfectly proper and there is precedent for it.

“But actually, fundamentally, for the people watching, they want to see we are leaving the EU.

“We’ve had one of the longest parliamentary sittings in the last 400 years talking nothing but Brexit.

“We have the chance to scrutinise all aspects of Brexit by the end of October. There will be time before the October council and after it.”

Mr Raab confirmed he has held a number of bilateral meetings with his EU counterparts, discussing topics such as Iran and Hong Kong.

“It’s important work we are doing, and once we leave the EU at the end of October, which is clear, it’s going to happen, our EU partners understand that these are all the areas we will continue to cooperate in the months ahead,” he said.

Meanwhile, Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney, who is also the country’s deputy prime minister, claimed the EU is prepared to offer Britain time for Brexit negotiations in the coming weeks.

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“There is no country that wants a deal more than Ireland.”

Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok will ask for “specific proposals” when he meets Mr Raab later today.

He said: “There have bene talks in Brussels but I want to hear it from him directly.

“The main issue is how to deal with the Irish border and you can’t solve that without details.”

Mr Raab can also be expected to face scrutiny from his EU counterparts on the Prime Minister’s move to prorogue Parliament.

Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn said: “It’s a country that has no written constitution. Now, we see that the government is in danger of becoming stronger than the Parliament.”

But he added that Britain will be given space by the EU to handle its domestic agenda without interference.

“It’s a balance. I think we have to leave the British to settle this business,” he said.

“The less we meddle in it, Europe, the better things will be. But it is still strange. Westminster is the mother of all parliaments and now you have a situation where that parliament is in danger of being set aside.

“It’s a way of proceeding in democracy that doesn’t quite conform to the rules. I’m worried.”

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