Published On: Sun, Aug 18th, 2019

Let Brexit commence! It’s a done deal as Stephen Barclay signs do-or-die order | Politics | News

The commencement order will repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and bring the European Withdrawal Act MPs voted through last September into force. Theresa May’s government refused to sign the document, which needed a minister’s signature to begin the formal process of leaving the European bloc. 


The signing of the order means Britain will now leave the EU on October 31, fulfilling Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s promise to the people. 

In a tweet, the Brexit secretary said: “I have signed the legislation setting in stone the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972. 

“This is a landmark moment in taking back control of our law. It underlines that we are leaving the EU on October 31.”

Senior Tory Brexiteers have previously called the document a ‘do or die’ pledge that ensures the nation will leave on the agreed exit date. 

The ECA saw laws directly pass from EU rulemakers to the UK and means Britain will directly control their policies after Halloween. 

Speaking to The Times, Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group Steve Baker welcomed the move. 

He said: “It is absolutely totemic. It shows a transformation in the approach, that Boris Johnson is willing to leave on a fixed date with no question of extension. It’s the do-or-die pledge in black and white. It’s not merely symbolic. 

“Once it’s signed that’s it, the UK is leaving. Theresa May did not bring the repeal of the European Communities Act on a fixed date because she was always willing to extend.” 

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In an official statement, Mr Baker added: “The ECA saw countless EU regulations flowing directly into UK law for decades, and any government serious about leaving on October 31 should show their commitment to repealing it.” 

To signal the signing of the document, Boris Johnson took to Twitter to reaffirm his position on Brexit. 

He tweeted: “We are leaving the EU on October 31st. The signing of this document means we will take back control of our laws on Brexit day.”

The signing comes just days before Prime Minister Boris Johnson will head to the G7 summit where he will meet French leader Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He is expected to warn the pair Britain will leave on time, but Downing Street chiefs said talks would not be Brexit centred. 

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The move also comes amid rumours Remain-backing MPs will table a vote of no confidence against Boris Johnson’s Government. 

Perhaps as many as 100 Tory MPs could defy their party and back the move which could see an alternative Government put into place.

The role of the movement would be to extend article 50 and call a general election. 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has begged MPs across all parties to support him as leader of an alternative movement. 

But his calls have been attacked with criticism as party leaders such as Jo Swinson and Anna Soubry failed to back the leader of the opposition. 

Insiders have also warned Mr Johnson would not step down if he loses a vote of no confidence to see through his Brexit strategy. 

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