LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The British government will not take part in a vote on its Brexit deal on Saturday if lawmakers back a proposal which seeks to withhold support for a deal until formal ratification legislation has passed, the BBC's political editor said.
The proposal, put forward by former Conservative lawmaker Oliver Letwin, has a strong chance of being accepted, meaning a subsequent vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's deal would no longer be a so-called "meaningful vote" to approve it.
Instead, Johnson's Downing Street office would tell Conservative lawmakers they could go home rather than stay to participate in the vote, and would bring forward the legislation required to ratify a deal on Monday, the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg reported.
"No. 10 plans to send MPs home if they vote for Letwin - but govt will introduce the bill on Monday," Kuenssberg said on Twitter. She also reported that Johnson would write to the EU to request an extension to Brexit if the Letwin amendment passed.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Writing by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Michael Holden)