This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

Petition Parliament should stop a 'no-deal' Brexit

Legislation to hold the EU referendum and the decision to trigger Article 50 were made in the previous Parliament. No Parliament can bind the hands of its successor, therefore this Parliament can, in effect, do as it believes appropriate, given the circumstances, and prevent a 'no deal' Brexit.”

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

10,397 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 5 November 2019

While legislation cannot “bind” Parliament, we must respect the referendum, our largest ever popular vote. The Government wants to get Brexit done with its deal. An election is the only way forward.

Read the response in full

On 29 March 2017, the UK formally notified the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw from the European Union (EU), which started the negotiations to implement the result of the 2016 referendum. 17.4 million people voted for Brexit in 2016, making it our greatest ever popular vote. We must respect the referendum.

This decision to invoke Article 50 was approved by the UK Parliament when it passed the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017.

The Prime Minister was compelled by the UK Parliament to write to the President of the European Council to confirm the UK’s formal agreement to the European Council Decision for an extension to 31 January 2020. On 28 October 2019, the Prime Minister complied with the law. In this letter, the Prime Minister made clear that the Government would have preferred to “ratify the deal we reached between us”, and his view that in granting the extension requested by Parliament there was a risk of endangering the interests of the UK and EU, and in particular the relationship between us.

In order to secure parliamentary approval for the deal, the Government believes that a General Election in December is required to break this Parliamentary deadlock and honour the result of the referendum.

It is for this reason that the Government introduced the Early Parliamentary General Election Bill 2019 which makes provision for a parliamentary general election. This Bill was approved by both Houses and received Royal Assent on 31 October and an election will now be held on 12 December 2019.

The Government wants to get Brexit done with its new deal. Unfortunately, the UK Parliament would not agree a timetable for passing the deal and so we now face further uncertainty about when Brexit will occur. That is why an election is the only way forward.

Cabinet Office