If Johnson refused to apply for an extension and went to jail, he would probably become a "no-deal martyr" for hardline Brexiteers, which would motivate them and increase the chances of no-deal Brexit supporters winning majority in the next election (which is going to happen soon no matter what).

Would such a no-deal supporting parliament have legal means to make the Benn Bill invalid and release Johnson from jail (and make him a PM again)? That would surely be quite a gamble for Johnson, but that's one of the very few scenarios where he wouldn't lose face before his electorate.

closed as off-topic by Reinstate Monica - M. Schröder, JJ for Transparency and Monica, K Dog, chirlu, isakbob Sep 10 at 21:25

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  • Not sure you should ask "can he", yes he can. What you really want to ask, I assume, is "why would he" – CGCampbell Sep 10 at 17:48
  • I'm asking if the parliament has means to release Johnson from jail. If it doesn't, it means Johnson can't take such a gamble, because he has no chances of getting released early and having his sentence cancelled. – michau Sep 10 at 17:49
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    @michau: Consider editing your question to make that clearer. And FWIW, seeing how your second paragraph is phrased, retroactively making something illegal legal so someone doesn't go to jail for it is not how the rule of law works. If it was illegal when it occurred and what you did later becomes legal, you still did something illegal at the time. – Denis de Bernardy Sep 10 at 18:22
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    @michau: I wrote the answer. :-) And I stand by the notion that this is not how the rule of law works. But apparently, the legislator may grant amnesty in the UK. – Denis de Bernardy Sep 10 at 19:01
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    I’m voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about law. – chirlu Sep 10 at 20:13

In theory he could do that. In the UK, amnesty may be granted by the crown or by an act of Parliament. So for such a scenario to play out, Tories would need to win a general election in short order and pass an appropriate bill or have the PM ask the Queen.

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    I can't see them winning an election with their leader in jail and having subverted the law. Also the opposition parties control the election timing at the moment so could just keep him in jail until he gives in. – user Sep 10 at 19:18
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    In theory, they wouldn't need an Act of Parliament. As you say, a pardon can be issued by the Crown, which in practice means at the discretion of the government. – Steve Melnikoff Sep 10 at 20:03
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    @SteveMelnikoff: I've edited the answer accordingly, since that is technically correct. That said, methinks it would multiply the outrage that would occur compared to if a bill was passed, were either to happen. – Denis de Bernardy Sep 10 at 20:12
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    Not to disagree with you, but any outrage might well only be felt by those who voted remain, just saying. – Pelinore Sep 10 at 22:02
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    Also of note: a pardon doesn't quash the conviction. BoJo might become ineligible for office because of the latter, depending exactly what it would be (for). – Fizz Sep 10 at 22:31

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