Analyzing Remainers' Chances to Oust Johnson and Stop Brexit


Boris Johnson's spat with his partner has already blown over. What are Remainers' last chances to stop Brexit?

Corbyn Divorced From Reality

Jeremy Corbyn made a fool of himself today by telling Theresa May that Any Brexit Deal Should be Put to Public.

Her response, as reported by Andrew Sparrow at the Guardian Live was amusing:

She says she wanted to leave the EU on 29 March. If Labour had voted for it, “we would already be out.” She says she had voted for a deal three times, while Corbyn had voted against the deal, increasing the chance of no deal. She says the Tories are not divorced from reality; the person most divorced from reality is Corbyn himself, who wants to follow the Venezuelan economic model, she claims.

Queenly Delusions

Sparrow responded: "The monarch has not had the power to sack the prime minister, and appoint another one, for at least a century, and probably longer. And she does not have the power to request an article 50 extension, even if she wanted one."

Parliament Delusions

In response to a question about MPs requesting an extension Sparrow replied "There is no provision for parliament to request an article 50 extension. The request to the EU would have to come from the PM."

Also note that the EU cannot grant an extension unless the UK asks and the EU might not do so anyway. Extensions have to be unanimous and France is sick of this mess.

Outright Revocation Delusions

Not going to happen

Referendum Delusions

Not going to happen except following an election and most likely not even then.


Elections are the one legitimate chance that Remainers have of stopping Brexit. But the timeline is very critical given the legal default is Brext on October 31.

Following a successful motion of no-confidence, Tories would have 14 days to find a replacement for Johnson. They would fail and elections would take place.

There is a 25-working-day minimum period of time for elections following dissolution of parliament.

September 11 is the last possible day in which elections can halt Brexit. Even then, the next PM would have to immediately ask for an extension and then immediately get a unanimous affirmation from all 27 EU nation.

Summer Recess

Theresa May has agree to take final questions from MPs.

This means the new prime minister would take office the night before recess, meaning he probably would not face MPs for the first time until September.

Summer recess starts July 25 and ends September 3.

September 3-11 is the maximum theoretical window in which a motion of no confidence must take place, and be successful to have any chance of stopping Brexit.


Johnson will take questions from MPs on Tuesday, September 3, assuming he does not prorogue Parliament (delay the opening) until it is too late to stop Brexit.

Let's assume Johnson does not take that measure.

He will deny he is committed to leaving with no deal. He will officially take the same stance as Hunt or Gove who both said they would negotiate with the EU.

Then What?

Corbyn may initiate a motion of no confidence. There would then be a three-line Whip (compelling party members to vote with the party or be outed).

Anyone defying the Whip would be outed from the party. This applies to Labour as well. Many Labour MPs support Brexit.

It is not at all clear that a motion would be successful.

Assuming the motion is successful, It's not at all clear that elections would be be held in time, or if they were, who would win.


Remainer Parlay

  1. Sometime between September 3 and September 10, Corbyn needs to trigger a motion of no confidence.
  2. It needs to be successful.
  3. MP defying the Whip will be outed from their party and thus parliament in the next election.
  4. An election needs be scheduled in time.
  5. Labour needs to win.
  6. Corbyn would have to ask for an extension or agree to the deal offered Theresa Mayor a Customs Union similar enough.
  7. The EU would have to unanimously agree to anything except the deal offered May. That includes an extension to hold another referendum.
  8. For outright Remain to succeed, it would likely take a majority in parliament or another referendum. The latter assumes the EU would go along.

That's All?

Yes, that's all it takes, assuming my time window is correct.

The intial September 3-10 trigger requirement may allow more time than there really is.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (5)
No. 1-4

The idea of a general election doesn't make sense. Both major parties will be wiped out and Labour has added to the worries of individual MPs by threatening them with reselection. So the real question is what has the changed sentiment done to the numbers in Parliament - a large part of the reason May's deal failed to get through was because it was seen as incompetent. A new PM may argue that he has simply been given a bad hand and so must push it through. The DUP will vote against but 26 Labour MPs will vote for. So next question is whether there are the numbers to force the government to ask the EU to hold off for a confirmatory vote (aka People's Vote aka 2nd referendum). This largely comes down to whether Corbyn is persuaded by his MPs to override his union buddy (Len McKluskey). Corbyn is toast if he loses the support of that lot and doesn't seem to care too much for his MPs so difficult to see how this stacks up. So in summary May's deal with no changes looks most likely. A UK Remainer/Reformer.



Tories can easily win. The Brexit party will return en masse if Johnson walks.

So, you are wrong about what this comes down to: Reality is that it comes down to what Johnson wants.

What does he want? Other than to be PM, no one can say.

But yes, you are correct that Johnson can deliver a warmed-over May deal, if that is what he decides to do.

You are also correct that a general election makes no sense, RIGHT NOW.

However, if Johnson delivers "no deal" there will be a general election, but the Brexit party will no longer have a reason for being.

They will return to the Tories.


Carriegate has not blown over. This morning Johnson refused 26 times to answer questions on the affair-see Nick Ferrari LBC this am. The airwaves and websites are falling over themselves to castigate the Oaf. There is a question about when the photograph of him and his paramour was taken. Too many people have noticed that the Oaf's hair was a lot longer in the photo than it was on Friday when the incident took place. On a point of fact the Queen cannot sack a Prime Minister, she is the only person who can ask a politician to try to form a government. If May tells the Queen that in May's opinion Prime Minister Johnson could not command the house then the Queen sends for Corbyn. Given that enough Tories are saying that they will vote against Johnson Hunt is moving ahead. Instead of an Oaf we would a Drip.


Centres falling apart everywhere.

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