The big news yesterday was that the opposition leaders had managed to have a productive meeting about what do to try and prevent a no deal Brexit. Even Corbyn had been brought on side with a plan to attempt to halt it through legislation. Given the number of Tory MPs who would be willing to vote to stop no deal, this gave Remainers a majority in parliament, so long as they managed to land on something which could unite all MPs against no deal. Given there were several options available that could achieve this, it gave the Remainer cause some hope of stopping no deal without a drastic upheaval of the political parties.
By means of a direct response to this threat, Johnson has decided to prorogue parliament, starting next week, with a new Queen’s Speech to be had on Monday, October 14th. This doesn’t mean MPs can’t stop no deal – it just means that it is now a lot harder. More drastic action will need to be taken, such as revoking Article 50 or actually going through with the whole national unity government thing. Things will get very tight in late-October.
This is essentially Boris Johnson saying to the Remainers, “Come on, if you think you’re hard enough”. It is daring them to get together and alight on a drastic means of stopping no deal from happening. It is asking moderate Tory MPs how far they are really willing to go to prevent no deal Brexit from taking place.
The strangest thing about this gamble is that Johnson really needs parliament to stop him. Then he gets his people vs parliament election, which suits him to a T. The problem about the prorogue move is whether he has now set the bar too high for Remainers to do anything. If so, it looks like he has to actually go ahead with no deal and hope it isn’t too terrible. Should no deal turn out to be a disaster, it is easy to see him quickly finished. Having just had an election on a no deal platform that gained him a majority, Johnson would be able to weather almost any storm; the way things are, it would be difficult to see him surviving.
The Brexit game of bluff just went up several notches. The fate of the nation and every political party in Britain rests on what Remainer MPs are willing to do from here. Johnson seems to have gambled that they will do something drastic to halt no deal Brexit and then he gets to be the Brexit hero, able to have an election that gets him the majority he needs to do what he really wants to do on Brexit, whatever that that might be.
A schop says
Uncle Vince Cable says
The Tories have increased their voteshare in the last five successive elections. It would be truly complacent to assume they’re going anywhere.
Morris Davis says
If as you say the Tory party is finished then there would be no party that could lead us out of the EU.
Democracy would be dead.
Paul W says
You seem to be assuming Boris doesn’t want a deal. Proroguing parliament will mean that the new parliamentary session will be able to have another go at passing a/ the Withdrawal Agreement.
A schop says
Swinson has gone quiet nick
This is an existential threat to the liberal party if corbyn is seen as Cromwell fighting charles 1
This is no time for cowards
The strangest thing about this gamble is that Johnson really needs parliament to stop him. Then he gets his people vs parliament election, which suits him to a T
Surely not; in a people vs parliament election the obvious winner is the Brexit party (because they are totally unsullied with the taint of even having any seats in Parliament), who could quite easily get a massive share of the vote, net between zero and ten MPs, but cost the Conservatives control of the house by stealing votes in marginals and letting Labour candidates through.
A pre-Hallowe’en election is death for Johnson, as is one after Hallowe’en if the UK haven’t left the EU. His only chance for victory is a post-leaving election.
The interesting thing is that it’s now filtering through that desptie all the fanfare this doens’t really do much: the suspension will only be for an extra three or four days on top of the normal conference season break. It doens’t actually cut the tie available to remainers down that much; if they could have got their act together before, then they can still get it together now.
So why has it been done? Presumably, to blow apart that fragile alliance before it has a chance to get settled as they freak out and react in different ways, talking over each other and looking like a chaotic rabble whereas Number 10 presents an imagine of being, oh, what are the words? Stable, I think. And strong, too.
Paul W says
Well, yes it adds a extra few days to the provisionally scheduled party conference season parliamentary recess, but the Remainers were looking to cut or scrap the recess period for their purposes – if they needed to. The Remain alliance has been wrong-footed.
So what it does is it forces the Remainers to show their hand sooner than they wanted — which also means they have to agree on a strategy faster than they were ready to.
I largely agree with you here
I think Johnson is going to deliberately crash the UK out of the EU and then call an election immediately afterwards.
Bearing in mind that the EU has contingency plans in place to stave off the worst of the impacts in the short term, Johnson has a window in which the UK has left the EU (thus killing off the Brexit Party) but before the full impact of all this recklessness has become apparent.
Whereas I think he’s aiming to leave without a deal at the end of October, then have an election in the spring, once the initial bumpiness and transient disruptions have settled and things are back on an even keel.
Amusingly that is when the next election was due after 2015 anyway, so then we can get back on schedule and all just pretend Theresa May never happened.