Boris as UK Premier to be cornered if attempting a no-deal Brexit

Boris Johnson and the Queen. (From http://www.boris-johnson.com/photos/)

One month ago this newspaper predicted that the British Conservative Party is bound to elect Boris Johnson, an ex Foreign Secretary and former Mayor of London, as its new leader and UK Prime Minister. The election process is at the final stage, with the 160.000 party members having to choose between Johnson and the actual Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. An easy poll in this readily available electorate, as expected, turns out more than 70% votes in favor of Johnson.

So, this prospect turns what Boris says about Brexit into an intended government action. For one thing, then, the eventuality of a wild no-deal Brexit has come closer than ever before to a visible prospect. This is because Boris has said that he wants a new and better deal with Brussels, otherwise Britain will leave on the Brexit day of 31 October this year without a deal whatsoever. However, the 27 EU leaders have definitively denied a renegotiation of the currently available Brexit deal.

The UK has a deal

This deal has been endorsed by the governments of all the 27 EU countries, as well as by the current occupant of 10 Downing Street, PM Theresa May. Unfortunately, this deal has been rejected three times in the Commons, the British parliament. As things now stand, the legal Brexit day is the 31th October this year. So, Boris Johnson as the next PM could procrastinate and get his no-deal Brexit by just letting the time pass. At this stage though things become more complicated than what Boris could easily tackle. Let’s dig into this though.

During the past few months, successive parliamentary votes have proved that there is a well defined and solid majority of British MPs opposing a no-deal Brexit. This group includes a double digit number of insurgent deputies of the governing Conservative party. They have repeatedly voted against their party, effectively denying the possibility of a disastrous no deal Brexit. Undoubtedly, then, all these parliamentarians, who oppose the wild divorce, will be very active in the Commons during the weeks leading to 31 October and can at least set a later Brexit date. John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of the Commons, has indirectly left to be understood he might help the MPs in that.

Revolting MPs

Yet, in order for these MPs to be able to vote in favor of a later date or even a full reversal of Brexit, there has to be a…Parliament. Presently there is an animated discussion in Britain, if Boris as PM is contemplating to…CLOSE DOWN PARLIAMENT. Actually there is such a legal possibility for the Prime Minister and is called ‘prorogation’. Nevertheless, this is a largely controversial step, putting a huge question mark on the very function of democratic institutions in the country.

Bercow again has said that the Parliament will not close down. So, with the Parliament open, the MPs can even vote in favor of a no-confidence proposal and oust the government together with the Prime Minister. In this way they trigger a new general election or the formation of a new government from the present Parliament. This means that some Tory anti Brexiteer MPs must go as far as voting down their own party’s administration.

Johnson’s Golgotha

In short, Johnson has to walk in murky, highly dangerous and severely undemocratic ways to get a no-deal Brexit at any cost. The country and the Parliamentarians clearly oppose such a dreadful option and Boris may even risk personal persecution for that.

So, no matter what Boris says today he will think twice before closing down Parliament, disregarding all and every democratic principle and ignoring what the majority of the MPs and the public opinion now support. Not to say anything about how angrily Brussels and the other European capitals may respond. And all that just to satisfy Donald Trump and his extreme right, anti-democratic populist entourage.

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