Robert Craig: What Could Happen Next If the Government Resigns Rather than Send the Letter to the EU?

UK Constitutional Law Association

This post follows on from a previous piece where I attempted to set out the general rules, and a flowchart, to create a route map in the event of a vote of no confidence. This post seeks to address the narrower question of what could happen if the Prime Minister (‘PM’) refused to send the letter to extend the Article 50 process and instead decided to announce the resignation of the Government before the deadline. This post assumes that the resignation would be by the whole Government on the grounds that collective responsibility on its central policy would apply in all the circumstances.

The deadline for sending the letter under the Benn-Burt Bill (now European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 (‘EUW2’)) is 19 October 2019 which is a Saturday.

It is a convention that prime ministers should, where possible, give sufficient notice of their resignation so that an…

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