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A short thread on what the Benn Bill, if enacted, will *not* do.

Many journalists have repeatedly indicated that the Bill will take no deal "off the table", or that it will "legally block" no deal.

But that isn't right. /1
As currently drafted, the Bill requires the Prime Minister to request a three-month Article 50 extension from the European Council.

But unless the Council unanimously agrees to extend Article 50, the 31 Oct deadline remains, and the UK exits on that date, deal or no deal. /2
This is important, including with reference to the Government's wish to hold a general election.

If those opposed to no deal want to rule out triggering a general election while no deal remains a possibility, simply getting the Benn Bill enacted is not enough. /3
Even with the Benn Bill on the statute book, the possibility of a no deal exit on 31 October will remain - unless and until the European Council agrees an extension. /4
This means that for those opposed to no deal, it would not be safe to support a general election immediately upon enactment of the Benn Bill.

It would only be safe to do so when (and if) the European Council had agreed to an extension. /5
The upshot? Setting the bar for supporting an election (as Jeremy Corbyn seemed to last night) as low as enactment of the Bill would be unwise.

To achieve no deal opponents' aim, the bar would have to be set at securing an extension.

The Bill, on its own, is not enough. /ends
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