Johnson Faces Mass Defection Of Tory MPs Amid Battle Over 'No Deal' Brexit

The resignations of Rory Stewart, Johnson's one-time rival for the leadership, and Amber Rudd, the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, have reportedly inspired dozens of other Tories to threaten to resign over their objections to a 'no deal' Brexit. According to the Times of London, Johnson is facing "a new cabinet rebellion" over the possibility of a "no-deal" Brexit.

A group of five ministers, Nicky Morgan, Julian Smith, Robert Buckland, Matt Hancock and Geoffrey Cox (May's Attorney General) are threatening to leave the party if Johnson fails to negotiate a deal with Europe.

The report follows a "fractious" cabinet meeting where ministers complained about Johnson's chief advisor, Dominic Cummings.

"Cabinet will set the strategy, not an unelected official. If this is an attempt to do that then it will fail. We are not a cabinet of sock puppets," one minister told the Times.

Still, Downing Street is struggling with "mounting concerns" of more resignations. One cabinet minister said the Tories could see a "very large number" of defections if it came to a "no deal" Brexit.

The report about the defections comes one day after Johnson was accused of playing "a stupid blame game" over Brexit by European Council President Donald Tusk.

Meanwhile, BBC reports that, in what sounds like a repeat of the endless Parliamentary wrangling over Theresa May's Brexit deal, Parliament will be called for a special Saturday session on Oct. 19 after Johnson returns from the last-chance EU summit to try and agree on a deal ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline.

If a deal is agreed with the EU, Johnson will ask MPs to approve it. If not, Parliament will have the opportunity to vote on a range of options, including leaving without a deal, and stopping Brexit altogether.

But for the special Saturday session to take place, MPs will need to agree on a business motion in the Commons.

Johnson has insisted that the UK will leave the EU on Oct. 31 no matter what. But Parliament recently passed something called the Benn Act, which requires Johnson to write to the EU requesting another Brexit delay unless MPs vote to approve a 'no deal' Brexit.

The Commons has only ever sat during four Saturdays since 1939, including on Sept. 2 of that year, a meeting spurred by the outbreak of World War II.

The most recent Saturday sitting was on April 3, 1982 pertaining to the invasion of the Falkland Islands.

Meanwhile, more headlines about EU27 officials objecting to Johnson's alternative Brexit plan has sent the pound on a round-trip during the first half of the European trading day.