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Members of Parliament yesterday voted in favour of legislation that will make it harder for the next prime minister to push through a no deal exit from the European Union.

The move comes as we move closer to finding out whether Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt has won the Tory leadership contest and will therefore replace Theresa May as Prime Minister.

MPs fear hard Brexit under Boris

As one of the key figures in the Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson has been unsurprisingly vocal on his commitment to taking the UK out of the European Union. He has said that he would prefer to leave with a deal, but is prepared to make a clean break from the EU if no new deal is forthcoming. Officials on both sides have until October 31st to negotiate new changes to Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

MPs are concerned that Boris Johnson may even attempt to suspend Parliament in order to force through a no deal Brexit in October. Lawmakers have been tenacious so far in their efforts to avoid the UK leaving the European Union without a deal, although a series of indicative votes left it clear that there is no majority in Parliament for any of the Brexit options (including a second referendum).

As the odds on a victory for Johnson have increased, cable has come under greater pressure as markets price in larger odds of a hard Brexit scenario. On Tuesday cable slipped below the levels seen during the October 2017 flash crash, although news of the victory for new legislation yesterday pushed GBP/USD up 0.5% to trend above 1.2485.

Legislation recalls Parliament, even if suspended

The bill states that even if Parliament is suspended it must sit for a few days in September and October to consider issues in Northern Ireland. On top of this, new legislation requires ministers to make reports every fortnight on the progress made towards re-establishing the collapsed executive in Northern Ireland, and states the lawmakers must have the ability to debate and approve those reports.

It effectively calls for Parliament to be present to debate unrelated issues so that MPs coincidentally happened to be sitting just as the UK is due to leave the European Union.

It does not prevent Parliament from being suspended, but it is another spanner in the works for Boris Johnson, should he become Prime Minister and attempt to force through a no deal Brexit.

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