The official campaign in favour of leaving the European Union in the 2016 Referendum
It is a well know fact that Theresa May, while pretending to the British public that her view was that “No Deal is better than a Bad Deal”, at no stage ever attempted to threaten the EU with a no-deal BREXIT exit during withdrawal negotiations. That’s why they would only offer Britain a bum deal that tied us into the EU forever, when it required the UK to sign-up to a new never-ending binding Treaty, whereas the Lisbon Treaty at least had Article 50, the legal process for leaving the EU in a couple of years.
It is a lesser know fact that Theresa May, while pretending to the British public she was forced by the Cooper-Letwin bill to extend the BREXIT date to 31 October 2019, in reality had NO OBLIGATION whatsoever to accept an extension to October when the requested date of June was rejected by the EU. That’s why they refused to make changes to the crap Withdrawal Agreement as they thought Britain could be forced into staying in the EU until it was approved or indeed Article 50 withdrawn.
However, the EU hierarchy [Michel Barnier, Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk] clearly have overplayed their hand as they are now up against PM Boris Johnson who has made a ‘do or die’ Brexit pledge for Britain to leave the EU by Halloween – with or without a Deal.
Whereas, conciliatory ‘Remainer’ May stuffed her cabinet with Remainers and surrounded herself with similar like-minded aides, hardball ‘Leaver’ Johnson has turned his Cabinet into a Remainer no-go area where everyone had signed-up to leaving in October, and he has supported them by gathering a formidable backroom team of experienced Brexiteers and campaigners led by a rottweiler-type ‘enforcer’ [joint founder of ‘Vote Leave’]
Now, Johnson explains that he is NOT aiming for a no-deal exit and wants to negotiate a Deal with the EU, but many of us believe that that will prove impossible, not least because a hoard of past and present MPs are telling the EU that parliament WILL block a no deal BREXIT and stop the UK leaving this Halloween – they will undermine Johnson’s insistence that the EU must capitulate and renegotiate, won’t they? [Perhaps alternatively, Johnson could obtain an interim ‘free-trade deal?]
[The likes of Europhiles: Philip Hammond (ex-Chancellor), Dominic Grieve (a former- Attorney General), David Gauke (ex-Justice Secretary), Rory Stewart (ex-International Development Secretary), Greg Clark (ex-Business Secretary) Stephen Hammond (ex-health minister), Sir Alan Duncan (ex-foreign office minister), Anne Milton (ex-skills minister), Sir Nicholas Soames, Sir Peter Bottomley, Damian Green, Kenneth Clarke (a former chancellor), Michael Heseltine, Oliver Letwin, John Major (a former PM), Tony Blair (a former PM), Gordon Brown (a former PM), Anna Soubry (a former minister)
Moreover, a group of 24 parliamentarians include LibDems and SNP MPs has started a legal action in Scotland aimed at preventing the shutting down Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit – they won’t succeed but they will boost the impression that BREXIT without a deal is the most likely scenario
Well, the bad news for those backbenchers and others driving the EU towards a no-deal BREXIT, is that there is snowball’s chance in hell of them stopping no-deal at this stage, or forcing Johnson to ask for a further extension, or indeed getting rid of PM Johnson and forming an interim government before the October leave date.
You see, the insurmountable problem that the wreckers face is that in February 2017, by a massive majority (votes 494 to 122) Parliament put into law empowerment of the government to implement the decision of the 2016 referendum and withdraw from the EU on the ‘exit day’ [now reset from 29 March 2019 to 31 October 2019], with OR WITHOUT a deal.
[That Bill extends, and applies in relation to, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and does not contain any provision which gives rise to the need for a legislative consent motion in the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales or the Northern Ireland Assembly]
Johnson has insisted that, come hell or high water, there will be no further extensions – only the PM can ask for one and even if one was requested all 27 EU countries would have to agree, so there’s no way can our parliament ensure there is an extension of the exit day. Furthermore, there are significant financial implications which would ‘normally’ require government support
New legislation will be required to enact any Deal agreed with the EU, or undeniably to prevent a no-deal Brexit. It cannot be claimed that the latter is denying the will of parliament since indeed it WAS parliament that created the current Bill in the first place, and any new motion or expression of current parliamentary opinion, has no legal effect whatsoever, does it?
The only realistic way that parliament itself can stop no deal happening, if Johnson is forced by EU intransigence to go that route, is by it snatching control of the legislative process from the Executive. There is little or no likelihood of that occurring or of new legislation being successfully passed, when faced by a determined Government, is there? No, the practical difficulties would be insurmountable as untrained rebel backbench MPs would themselves have to draft and navigate new ’error-free’ relevant bills through both Houses, wouldn’t they? Those who might raise however the example of last April’s Cooper-Letwin rubbish bill, which did precisely that, should be aware that Theresa May’s wishy-washy administration simply collaborated in that process as it could easily have been halted in its tracks – she ignored the will of her Cabinet by ruling out a no deal Brexit and actually needed another BREXIT delay [and as is her forte she wanted to dodge responsibility for it, having promised a 108 times to leave the EU on March 29].
The alternative course of action for the EU lovers to crash no-deal, is to bring down the Johnson Government, and Hammond has vowed to do just that, as apparently he believes it is in the national interest so surpasses Conservative party interest, hence he is already plotting with Labour to achieve that end – by working through the summer recess with Labour’s Keir Starmer, and Tories Letwin, Grieve, and others who oppose no deal
Well, they are pissing the wind because it won’t work, will it? Nope, a ‘no-confidence vote’ can only be moved by the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn. Even if successful, it doesn’t mean an immediate dissolution of parliament, but instead, a stay of execution for 2 weeks to establish if there is a government capable of securing the confidence of the Commons – and there wouldn’t be one, nor a government of national unity, that would satisfy the Crown, would there?
Most certainly Boris Johnson would remain as Prime Minister throughout, as is his perfect legal right, although a General Election would be automatically triggered. The date of such an election would though be decided-on by Johnson himself (by advising the Monarch), and although following a dissolution there must be a minimum of 25 working days before the election, there is no maximum. Johnson would most certainly hold the election in November 2019 so AFTER the UK had left the EU in accordance with the existing legislation.
Oh, the Remainers are already squealing like stuck pigs at that prospect, as they claim it would be unconstitutional when convention dictates that no alteration of policy should occur during the pre-election period. But we don’t have a constitution do we, and conversely it would be wrong for the PM to introduce a change that circumvents the 2016 Referendum or the existing legislation on leaving the EU, wouldn’t you say?
Doubtless the wild shrieking will intensify if and when that time comes, but it will fall on death ears because it would not be unlawful and there is no way that Johnson will call an Election BEFORE the UK have left the EU, when he knows full well that it is a lost cause because there is widespread anger and distrust in the Conservatives who had abjectly failed to exit the EU after 3 years – they cannot do anything in government until that issue is put to bed. Neither Tory or Labour will get a majority in Westminster until Britain is out of Europe, eh?
If BREXIT is delivered as now scheduled, there can be no question about it that Johnson will call a general Election regardless, but that will be next year by preference so that he can re-establish a working majority which is essential to effective governance [the current situation is a majority of only one despite the support of the Irish DUP
While the British people have the highest regard for our nearest European neighbours, though they may be a bit more circumspect about those further afield in the EU, but there is generally utter loathing for the EU organisation itself which was doomed when set up to be undemocratic and when it prioritised an overriding objective to destroy the individuality of its member nations
[Those intent on a dirty deeds onslaught on the new Boris Johnson Government ought to be aware of how the House of Commons’ timetable significantly constrains their opportunities. The House is currently in Summer Recess until the first week in September and apparently after just 8 working days it shuts up shop again and goes into an over 3 weeks Recess for party conferences, till it returns in October, a short 18 working days before ‘exit day’ – not much time for skulduggery]
Note: there is sparse appetite in the Commons for revoking Article 50 to cancel BREXIT and so the result of the Referendum [less than a couple of hundred] – the anti-democracy ‘LibDems’ of course, the dissociative identity disorder ‘SNP’ who want independence but to be controlled by the EU, and a chunk of memory challenged ‘Labourites’ who don’t know they lost the vote