Johnson Suspends Brexit Bill as Withdrawal Agreement Passed, Timetable Failed

-edited

The Withdrawal Bill passed 329 to 299. The "programme motion" timetable failed 322 to 308.

Johnson 'Pauses' Brexit Legislation

Boris Johnson has confirmed he will set aside the bill that would implement his deal, despite the fact the Commons has just backed it, after his proposal to fast-track it through parliament was rejected by MPs.

He says he does not want a delay and will continue to discuss with EU27 leaders until they decide whether or not to grant one.

Amazing Feat But Still Short

  • Supposedly the EU would never remove the backstop.
  • Supposedly the EU would never change the political declaration
  • Supposedly the Benn Bill would require Johnson to seek a 3-month extension

None of those happened.

Johnson's Statement

Can I say in response how welcome it is, even joyful that for the first time in this long saga, this House has actually accepted its responsibilities together, come together, and embraced a deal?

I congratulate honourable members across the House on the scale of our collective achievement because, just a few weeks ago, hardly anybody believed that we could reopen the withdrawal agreement, let alone abolish the backstop, that is indeed what they were saying.

And certainly nobody thought we could secure the approval of the House for a new deal and we should not overlook the significance of this moment.

Limbo

According to Speaker John Bercow, the bill is in "Limbo".

MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said the bill is neither in heaven, nor hell, but rather purgatory.

It is now up to the EU and Johnson. If the EU offers a short delay only Johnson would likely take it.

I would caution against reading to much from Donald Tusk's statements. Tusk does not speak for the EU on this matter. He always wants delays, hoping for a reversal. It only takes one nation to disagree and demand a shorter extension.

A delay until January is certainly possible. It is not a given as it solves nothing!

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (85)
No. 1-27
Harry-Ireland
Harry-Ireland

So what are we talking about here, Mish? A 21 day extension with the deal unamended? Would that require a unanimous decision of all 27 members?

Mish
Mish

Editor

Hard to say what the EU will do. Johnson will likely ask for a short 10 day delay or so. Whether the EU offers that is uncertain.

frozeninthenorth
frozeninthenorth

certainly starting to look like hard brexit after all. You are right Johnson will get what he wants

themonosynaptic
themonosynaptic

You are too blind a "Bojo-Head" Mish. Forget all the "winning" vs. "losing" stuff, focus on two things:

  1. This is the plan that will be agreed to
  2. The MPs want to see Johnson squirm and they are enjoying themselves watching him

They might give him his "10/31" deadline, but my guess is that they will delay here and there in the interim, or stretch it out to early November. They don't like being ordered around, and Johnson is not in Trump's position - most of the voters for Tory MPs like their MP much more than they like Johnson. In the U.S. most Republican voters like Trump more than their Congresspeople or Senators, so Trump get's to whip their asses when he feels like it.

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

What choice is there but offer a short delay? Today Junker sounded deeply tired and likely glad to see the back of it.

lamlawindy
lamlawindy

Mish, at what point do you think that the EU gets exasperated enough & refuses to extend any more? Or do you think that a no-deal Brexit would be so injurious as to always result in the EU offering to extend?

dansilverman
dansilverman

Johnson is on shaky ground here. A long extension could bleed support from the Tories to the Brexit party. And we are headed for an election very soon.

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

My basic expectation is a few months long extension and a general election for weeks.

However, if extension happens without the personal involvement of Corbyn, then he would have a very hard time pushing LibDems back. Labour could be destroyed in this case. At this point, the only way out for him seems to be the customs union amendment.

The EU will probably give a few weeks this time. BoJo made his homework, elitists are in good shape, too. Now the survival play begins for Corbyn. He has to show what he's got.

liberty lady
liberty lady

Now the agreement has passed the EU have a strong incentive to work with Boris to pass the legislation asap. Their fear of a no deal has become palpable with the deadline approaching - just as game theorists suggested. Remainers will try to add a referendum or customs union as amendments but why would the EU open the Withdrawal Agreement a second time? Boris now has the votes and will force an election if denied.

Thanks Mish for all your excellent work. Commentary and insights have been first rate.

KernowMor
KernowMor

I think there is an outside chance that Boris and the Government will instead go immediately for a General Election, with the logic as follows.

First, the 31 Oct deadline is unlikely to be met, thus there is no longer the threat that of a 'crash out', which was the only reason that Labour delayed calling for an election.

Second, the prospect of a further protracted parliamentary process, in which various issue groups use the lack of an overall majority to extract concessions out of the Government looks unappetising.

Third, the Conservatives are way ahead in the polls, have been undertaking a tacit election campaign now for over two months. They also will be able to go to the electorate on a ticket that they can now with confidence 'Get Brexit Done', whilst also making the case that it is the opposition parties who are wholly responsible for the delay - and with good reason - and that their manifesto positions are, for Labour incomprehensible and, for LibDems, anti-democratic.

Accepting that there is some risk, upside is an strong majority which means that Boris and a new Government can: first, get the Deal through easily; second, secure 5 years' worth of Conservative Government; third, be in a strong legislative position to negotiate hard in the subsequent trade discussions, free from opposition interference.

Interesting to see which way they go ...

Mish
Mish

Editor

Brexit Party is going nowhere - at least by itself

Country Bob
Country Bob

Mish's audience, according to Alexa's web traffic monitoring site, continues to be less than 40% from the US, 5-10% from India, 5-10% from Pakistan.

The British have already left the EU, even if the politicians are still arguing about legal technicalities. Mish can't see the forest from the trees or he would have dropped this stupid brexit thread long ago. Its over, the fat lady finished singing and exited the stage. October 31st and even the politicians will concede.

The G7 central banks are trying to prop up their debt bubble, but are no longer able to compel banks to lend money to moron socialists who cannot and will not ever repay. There is no repo problem, there is a deadbeat socialist problem.

Who has the over / under on Mish lasting more than 2yrs among the Mormons in Utah? They aren't like the people of Chicago that Mish is used to. Mormons are also not like the Indians and Pakistanis and Californians that make up more than half Mish's blog audience

Jacksondog1
Jacksondog1

Easy solution to backstop. Reunite Ireland as one country.

Mish
Mish

Editor

The EU will not allow No Deal if it can stop on. It can stop one because the WA passed. All it has to do is offer a short extension or demand elections instead of a 3-month extension. France might be willing to do that, but any nation could. It only takes 1.

Will that happen? I don't know. But it is certainly possible. The EU will be happy with the margin of passage.

Mish
Mish

Editor

"Now the agreement has passed the EU have a strong incentive to work with Boris to pass the legislation asap."

Liberty Lady is correct. The WA PASSED.

AvidRemainer is wrong. If Avid Remainer listened today, Bercow even corrected a Labour MP on that point.

The timetable for the WA did not pass.

The WA was not "pulled" as my first title said and Johnson initially threatened. Rather, Johnson "suspended" the WA. Bercow specifically used the word "Limbo".

Mish
Mish

Editor

"Mish's audience, according to Alexa's web traffic monitoring site, continues to be less than 40% from the US, 5-10% from India, 5-10% from Pakistan."

Country Bob - If you do like my posts, feel free to vote with your feet. Better yet, start your own blog and post content to your liking.

I already told you this is a Global Economic Blog. If you want a US only blog, find one. I am sure they exist.

Mish
Mish

Editor

I would caution against reading to much from Tusk's statements. Tusk does not speak for the EU, he always wants delays, hoping for a reversal. It only takes one nation to disagree and demand a shorter extension.

Mish
Mish

Editor

A delay until January is certainly possible. It is not a given as it solves nothing!

There are other possibilities. Johnson could even pull his request for a delay, taking it to the courts.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Comment Edit function now seems to be working

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Brexit is coming for sure, now. Just a question of whether it is done with Johnson's deal or no deal. The EU isn't going to give much of an extension, and Johnson may well rescind the letter he was forced to send if the Remainers continue to delay over the coming days.

Again, the Remainers keep doing the things that won't stop Brexit. These delaying tactics are actually working against them politically.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

And I don't think I really need to point out that HMG can veto the extension itself in the EU parliament. If you really think the Benn Bill will prevent this from happening, then you haven't learned a damned thing. The UK is still a voting member for time being.

Mish
Mish

Editor

But I keep coming back to this point time and time again

"Johnson, who had said he would rather be "dead in a ditch" than delay Brexit again, made clear that he was sending the request letter under duress."

It is against a treaty that the UK but not the EU signed to force a state to sign a treaty.

Ace in the hole discussion. https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/economics/boris-johnson-s-brexit-ace-in-the-hole-revealed-j8dppCDjQ0-KBV-ZGHMhpw/

Johnson was forced against his will. is an extension the same thing? Does it matter?

The second thing I keep coming back to is Johnson needs to kill time. If the EU delays offering the extension long enough, Johnson can kill the remaining time in court and deliver No Deal (or give parliament one last chance to pass his deal unrestricted)

Mish

Mish
Mish

Editor

Eurointelligence take is nearly what I said. Forget about Tusk and think about France.

Direct quote "France has signalled overnight that it is unhappy with a three-month Brexit extension, as proposed by Donald Tusk"

Three Month Extension - for what? That is the question I asked, and Eurointelligence agrees.

Not surprised that the Media focused on Tusk.

Things can change overnight. But I am happy with my call.

I will post a take tomorrow. Things can change overnight. For reasons stated, France is sick of this.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Contrary to Remainer Beliefs a 3-month extension increases the odds of No Deal

Sticking with my Heads Win Tails Win call

ksdude69
ksdude69

Extend and accomplish nothing? Sounds familiar.

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

The EU has a decision about the future of the UK again.

If the EU gives a long extension, then Labour cannot deny a general election. Brexit is in limbo, Remainers are split, all this means that Johnson would probably win smoothly. The next parliament passes the deal and tries to cope with Irish and Scottish separatism. Likely in vain.

If the EU gives a short extension, then Labour can deny the election and go for amendments on the Brexit deal. They have good chance for a customs union amendment because they have the DUP, they can buy the SNP, and LibDems know that Corbyn will allow a free vote on the deal again. :) In this case, the successful Labour move takes down Johnson,. Corbyn can become interim PM and he has the bulk of the Remain vote. Another hung parliament is likely and the circus continues.

There is one thing that silently slipped away though: the October 31 Brexit. It is beyond me why anyone still thinks that deadlines are credible. Extension is always the default scenario while the gridlock is not broken. Yes, the EU can break it if and when they want. But why would they break it now with a proposal of long extension? They can wait until the UK is weary enough to accept even worse terms.