It’s a frenzied clash between moderates and no-deal Brexiteers

Last Friday PM Boris Johnson visited Peterhead in Scotland. He goes about the country promoting his no-deal Brexit (10 Downing St. photo, some rights reserved)

Despite a series of defeats in Parliament, British Premier Boris Johnson is still stuck on his line, aiming at a no-deal Brexit. Last week he lost all the parliamentary votes and then single handedly expelled 21 MPs from the Conservative Party, including two former chancellors of the Exchequer and the grandson of Winston Churchill, Sir Nicholas Soames. A number of ministers have also resigned, including Joe Johnson, Boris’ Brother.

Those 21 moderate Tory MPs had voted against Johnson’s no-deal Brexit tactics. In this way, Boris has actually transformed the Conservative Party from a broad center-right political grouping into a chauvinist, anti-EU, populist bloc. The whole issue has become an open conflict between those politicians and voters who back the no-deal Brexit and those who cannot tolerate a crash exit from the EU.

Ousting the Speaker

Boris now wants to oust the Parliament Speaker John Bercow, a Tory MP for the Buckingham constituency. Bercow didn’t support Johnson’s scheming to mute the majority of the MPs and didn’t let 10 Downing Street drive Britain sleepwalking to a no-deal Brexit. So, the Speaker of The Commons tabled a demand by the MPs majority to hold a vote about the Brexit options. In the end, the proposal for a bill aimed at effectively stopping a no-deal Brexit, was voted by all the opposition parties, plus the 21 rebellious Tory PMs, who later on were expelled by Boris from the Party.

So, the new law was ratified by 327 to 299. During the same time one Tory MP left the Party and joined the Liberal Democrats, thus leaving the Johnson government without a working majority in the legislative. After that, the government tabled a proposed to hold an early election on 15 October. Boris lost this vote too. Today, Monday, Johnson is expected to ask the Parliament again to approve an early election in October, but the opposition parties have agreed to vote it down once more.

Will Boris abide by the law?

As things stand, PM Johnson is required by the law which was passed in the Parliament last week and expected to be dully ratified by the Queen today, to either strike a Brexit agreement until 19 October or ask Brussels for an extension of the exit day, set for 31 October. Before that, an EU Summit is programmed to be held on 17 October.

On that occasion, Boris can either strike an exit deal with his mainland counterparts or ask them for a postponement. If he doesn’t obey to these legal obligations, he will face the consequences of his actions, possibly even imprisonment. The law goes as far as to dictate the lines of letter the PM has to write, asking for the deferment of the divorce day.

Brexit: do or die

Nonetheless, more than once Boris has said, he would rather die than asking for a Brexit extension. So, today, the opposition parties plus the 21 Tory rebels – that is the majority of the Commons – will be asked either to vote for Boris proposal to hold an early election on 15 October, or keep him on the hook.

Then, his options will be, either to obey to the law or be persecuted by the Attorney General. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the major opposition Labor Party has said Johnson’s early election proposal is like the poisonous apple offered to Snow White, containing the venom of a no-deal Brexit.

The trap

In short, Boris Johnson has fallen in the trap he prepared for others. To disperse the dark clouds after four Parliamentary defeats, he goes about the country like a street agitator, asking bystanders to support his Brexit. According to a BBC report “… on a Yorkshire high street…The PM was challenged, first by a voter who asked politely “Please leave our town”, then more aggressively by a man furious about Johnson’s Brexit plan. But then, within five minutes, the prime minister appealed to the crowd to back him on Brexit”.

Come what may this week, the UK still pays the dear price for the problems the ex PM David Cameron inflicted on his country. He promised the EU in/out referendum in order to make sure he could win the 2015 election. He then won an absolute majority, but at the same time the Brexit conundrum commenced.

 

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