Brexit – Political Theatre

Brexit – Political Theatre

August 28th, 2019 // 11:40 am @

The past week has seen considerable political theatre played out regarding Brexit, both by our Prime Minister and European Union Leaders. Both are pretending that they are open to a significantly changed exit deal, although both are aware it is not going to happen. Neither sides want to be blamed post a no deal exit for the consequences. Therefore they have gone through various meetings and press statements to appear to be working towards a new deal neither believes is practical.

Boris Johnson knows the demands for a complete renegotiation and the dropping of the Irish backstop will not be acceptable to the EU. He is positioning himself as the man who went for a deal but got refused by an unreasonable EU. He has gone in June from a no deal Brexit to being one in a million, to now it being the probable outcome.

Whether Mr Johnson is ideologically for or against a UK exit from the EU is unclear, what is true is he is driven by political ambition and he see’s leaving the EU under any circumstances as necessary for his political future.

For Mr Johnson to have a long term future as Prime Minister he will at some point probably sooner than latter need to go for a General Election, as trying to move forward on other issues with a minority in parliament is unlikely to work.

The electoral reality certainly from his perspective is clear, post Brexit however it may happen neutralizes the Brexit parties, as they are one issue organizations, and leaves him clear to face a weak Labour party which has been taken to the far left under Jeremy Corbyn.

The EU and particularly Angela Merkel do not want to be seen to be driving the UK out of the EU, with the damage to all EU members and particularly Ireland. So they have put the ball back in the Prime Ministers court, by saying they will look at any new solutions he may have, knowing I am sure the gap between the UK and the EU is probably insurmountable.

So August has been about positioning ready for a no deal exit rather than any substantive negotiation. The real politics starts when the UK Parliament returns on the 3rd of September. Then those opposed to a no deal Brexit and those who are opposed to any departure will try and stop the PM.

This is problematic for several reasons; the two options are to bring down the government through a no confidence vote or to introduce legislation to stop the government implementing the no deal Brexit.

It is hard to see how a no confidence motion might be effective, even if it forced the PM to resign it needs someone else to form a government. A new Conservative leader is unlikely to stop Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn is too weak and seen as too left wing to gain sufficient cross party support to become even an interim PM.

Introducing a law stopping a no deal Brexit looks marginally more likely, but it too has significant issues. Firstly those opposed to the PM cover a spectrum from wanting an extension to the leave date, or a second referendum to those who wish to stay in the EU.

Therefore the exact nature of the legislation they would bring forward is unclear, as it is to whether legally they can bring in such legislation, and whether they could get a majority.

John Bercow the speaker of the house looks like he wants parliament to have its say. The PM is asking the Queen to suspend parliament clearly so it can not have its say on the PM’s plans. Boris Johnson with this move has crossed a line into the unknown, he is asking a constitutional monarch to aid him in stopping the elected House of Commons from functioning, it will be the most significant decision of the Queens reign.

So what happens next, there appear to be two serious possibilities. Firstly Mr Johnson manages to muzzle parliament and we have a no deal exit on the 29th October followed shortly by a General Election, fought between the Conservatives having delivered Brexit against a disunited Labour Party. Or Parliament will effectively rebel and in some way stop Brexit on the 29th. If that happens a new General Election seems almost certain, with a three way fight between the Conservatives, Labour and the Brexit parties, the outcome of which is unlikely to be a majority government.

Our relationship with Europe has divided the UK for centuries, and looks set to continue to divide use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Category : Blog &The Future

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