Boris Johnson's Deviously Clever Brexit Strategy Unfolds

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Posted: Aug 30, 2019 11:12 AM
Boris Johnson's Deviously Clever Brexit Strategy Unfolds

Source: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

The Remainers are huffing and puffing this morning, but it will be to no avail. Johnston's strategy is nearly foolproof.

Corbyn Vows to 'Politically Stop' No Deal

The Guradian Live Blog reports Jeremy Corbyn Says He Will Try to 'Politically Stop' Prorogation with Legislation. He cant buts let's look at some comments.

Opposition leaders have demanded that Boris Johnson either reverse his decision to suspend Parliament or put it to a Commons vote. The leaders of Labour, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Independent Group for Change and the Greens, "condemn the undemocratic actions of Boris Johnson following his suspension of Parliament until 14 October.

My Reply: So What?

Lord Young quit as a government whip in the Lords over Boris Johnson’s decision, saying it “risks undermining the fundamental role of parliament” in his resignation letter.

My Reply: Excellent News

Johnson will appoint a whip who will obey his wishes. Should the Commons pull any legislative tricks that require the House of Lords, expect a filibuster.

The Labour leader has said parliament will “legislate rapidly” on Tuesday, when it resumes, to prevent Boris Johnson from suspending parliament and stop a no-deal Brexit.

My Reply: Not Legally Binding

A petition calling on the government not to prorogue parliament has already been signed by more than 1.4 million people. The petition is growing even faster than the petition to revoke article 50, which eventually had 6m signatures.

My Reply: Not Legally Binding

Accusations

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons, has claimed the Speaker, John Bercow, was being unconstitutional by criticising the suspension of parliament. Bercow described Johnson’s move to prorogue parliament as a “constitutional outrage”. But Rees-Mogg claimed it was Bercow who was acting outside the constitution by making such comments.

Rees-Mogg is correct. There is nothing unconstitutional about the move. Proroguing is frequent. Only the timing is unusual.

“It was simply wrong and deeply irresponsible of him [Bercow] to say that. The Queen had no discretion over this. There is no precedent for the Queen refusing a request by her prime minister under these circumstances. This is a straightforward decision by the prime minister giving formal advice to the sovereign, which a constitutional monarch is obliged to follow. Lord O’Donnell is saying things that are damaging to the constitution and wrong.”

Rees-Moog commented: “The law of the land is that we leave the European Union, and parliament voted for that on the back of a referendum where 17.4 million people voted to leave. That’s not railroading. That’s delivering a proper constitutional settlement.”

Coup

Call to Hang Johnson

The Shadow (opposition) Chancellor, John McDonnell, labeled Johnson a “dictator”.

Acceptance

Both Tweets sounds like acceptance.

Polls

Common Sense from Eurointelligence

Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings have a strategy - and nobody else does. The prorogation plan is devious - or clever depending on your views. It tells us that this government will stop at nothing to frustrate the Remainers in the parliament, so long as it is legal.

The decision to prorogue parliament in the way they did dramatically reduces the options for the Remain supporters. There is now no time for legislation to force the government to extend Brexit. There is a little more than a week after the parliament convenes next week, and there will be a couple of weeks after the Queen’s Speech October 14.

Can this be stopped legally? Not really. It is not the prime minister who has prorogued the parliament. It was the Queen, who has her own legal counsel.

Perhaps the most interesting news story yesterday - amid a torrent of noisy outrage - was a story in Die Welt according to which Germany and the EU - for the first time - now actually believe that a no-deal Brexit is possible. We have been pointing out for the last three years that Germans in particular did not believe that Brexit would happen. The German media have been obsessed with the second referendum campaign and reported on little else. It also has been the overwhelming experience of the EU that the other side always blinks first. What yesterday’s decision did was to make it absolutely clear to the EU that the UK parliament won’t stop a no-deal Brexit.

There is no way the House of Commons and the Lords will finalize an anti-Brexit law before parliament breaks up. They would have to re-table the legislation in mid-October. But at that time Johnson and EU leaders would be in last-minute negotiations. If the talks succeed, parliament will get a last-minute take-it-or-leave-it vote.

There is still one option left for Remainers to pursue, but it is very risky. They could hold a vote of no confidence when they come back next week. If they win, the fixed-term parliaments act sets out a definitive procedure. The House of Commons has two weeks to secure a majority in support of another prime minister - a technical government as the Italians would call it. But this is unlikely as the opposition is hopelessly divided on this point. If that effort fails, the Commons would be suspended for new elections. But, crucially, it is the government that sets the date for them. Number Ten said yesterday that the date for elections would be November 1-5, that is after a no-deal Brexit. In other words, a no-confidence motion could actually trigger a no-deal Brexit, as the Commons would have deprived themselves of the opportunity to ratify a withdrawal agreement.

This is why the timing of the prorogation is so clever - no doubt the work of Cummings.

The political reality is that the anti-Brexit campaign has committed one strategic blunder after another, and failed to attract enough support. They lost two general elections, one European election and one referendum. The ferocity of their reaction is best explained as a sudden realisation that they lost. They did not see this coming.

Eurointelligence supports the opinion I offered yesterday.

"The only possible way to stop this now is a successful motion of no confidence followed by the agreement of an alternate government."

Even then, Cummings noted that Johnson would refuse to resign. The law is unclear on what would happen.

Brilliant Plan

I did not understand why Johnson (Cummings) would have picked October 14 for a Queen's speech. It is clear today.

  • Now that the EU finally understands No Deal is on the table and Parliament cannot stop it, there is a chance for Johnson to actually work out a deal.
  • Should there be a successful motion of no confidence, it would trigger no deal, taking away the arguably small chance the EU might come to its senses and work out a deal.
  • Such a deal might be a trade arrangement in return for the UK paying the Brexit bill and other cooperative efforts, but the backstop has to go.
  • Also, and as I have pointed pointed out before, any Tory who voted against Johnson would immediately be outed from the party and lose their seat in the next election.

Congrats to Boris Johnson for a brilliant plan.

Happy Halloween.