Boris Johnson has urged MPs to back his Brexit deal telling them that the time had come to heal the rift in British politics over the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
As parliament sat for the first time on a Saturday in 37 years, the prime minister said the agreement he has struck with Brussels would allow the UK to leave ‘whole and entire’ on October 31.
However he faces another hurdle with opposition MPs threatening to vote for an amendment withholding approval until legislation to implement the deal is in place.
Sir Oliver Letwin, the former cabinet minister who had the Tory whip withdrawn after rebelling over Brexit, said it was an ‘insurance policy’ to prevent Britain ‘crashing out’ without a deal on Oxford.
But government sources reportedly warned that if passed it would render the proceedings meaningless and they would simply send Tory MPs home.
Mr Johnson called for MPs to reconcile their differences over Brexit.
He told MPs: ‘The House will need no reminding that this is the second deal and the fourth vote, three-and-a-half years after the nation voted for Brexit.
‘And during those years friendships have been strained, families divided and the attention of this House consumed by a single issue that has at times felt incapable of resolution.
‘But I hope that this is the moment when we can finally achieve that resolution and reconcile the instincts that compete within us.’