Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has warned in a column written gor the Daily Mail that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could try to declare a state of emergency in order to push a no-deal Brexit through parliament.
Mr Grieve’s concern is that the prime minister could enforce the Civil Contingencies Act of 2004 that gives ministers the right to unilaterally suspend the rule of law for up to one month if a serious situation that threatens the security of the UK occurs.
Mr Grieve writes that by doing so, Boris Johnson could ignore a law drafted by Labour MP Hilary Benn and voted into law by parliament designed to stop a no-deal outcome.
“The message coming from Downing Street is we have to leave by October 31 or there will be riots. My suspicion is that they may be planning to use the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act to suspend that law on the grounds that otherwise there will be riots before and afterwards,” Mr Grieve wrote in the Daily Mail.
“What I find most shocking is that ministers seem to be actively promoting this idea to justify invoking the Civil Contingencies Act and declaring a state of emergency,” he added.
Yet, the suggestion that there may be riots in the event of a prolonged Article 50 extension seem to generate agreement on the Twittersphere.
There will be 17.4 million very angry people— Carol Turner (@caroldeeg) 27 September 2019
Sad but True.— Thomas (@Commonsense1987) 27 September 2019
Hopefully it wont get to that and we'll be OUT and FREE on October 31st.
I'm starting to think it's time for an uprising, the formation of a resistance organisation, ruthless if necessary, on a big scale with funding because those who wish to take away democracy are the new enemy of the people. You can read into that as you will.— Jestlazz (@jestlazz) 27 September 2019
People vented their anger by voting Leave. Now they are being ignored by Remain establishment. If Brexit is not delivered its only natural for the anger to be vented physicallyon the streets- its not good but what other choice do people have. #BackBoris #humbug— Kay (@paddisurfer) 27 September 2019
Mr Grieve, who is known to be a vocal advocate for a second referendum on Britain’s place in the EU, accused Boris Johnson’s cabinet of using fear of social unrest as a tactic to generate support for a no-deal Brexit on October 31.
“My worry is that this is part of an orchestrated script and part of a Government policy to get around the law drafted by Labour MP Hilary Benn and approved by the Commons – with my support – designed to prevent the Prime Minister taking the UK out of the EU next month without a deal,” Mr Grieve wrote.
“I realise that I am open to criticism by those who support Brexit and who say my main aim is to stop it. But however passionately people feel about this, the debate inside and outside Parliament must be conducted in a calm and respectful manner,” he added.
Mr Grieve’s warning comes at a time when opposition MPs from across the spectrum, including rebellious Conservative party ministers, are doubling down on their attempts to block Mr Johnson’s ability to shove a no-Deal through parliament at the end of October.
Over the past 48 hours, it has emerged that the Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has suggested that she is open to supporting efforts to knock Johnson from power through a no-confidence vote that could then see Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn installed as a caretaker prime minister on a temporary basis. Mr Corbyn would then apply for an extension to Article 50 and hold general elections once the avoidance of a no-deal outcome is guaranteed.