Tory Civil War: Johnson's Feud With Rebels Comes to a Head, Oct Elections Likely

-edited

In a showdown with Tory rebels, Boris Johnson vows to not honor an extension request no matter what Parliament votes.

Parliament is back in session Tuesday, September 3. Remainers and some Tory rebels want legislation demanding Johnson request yet another delay from the EU.

However, Johnson gave a speech today vowing not to seek another Brexit extension under any circumstances. And he won't. No one can force him. Until he gives the "Queen's Speech" such moves by Parliament are not binding.

He scheduled the Queen's Speech for October 14 as noted in Boris Johnson's Deviously Clever Brexit Strategy Unfolds

With the Queen's Approval, parliament will be suspended from September 9 through October 14.

Should the rebels side with Labour, Johnson will strip the rebels of Tory party membership and call for an election on October 14.

An October 14 election would give time to an incoming prime minister to seek an extension. Of course, that presumes Johnson would lose. Polls suggest Johnson will win, perhaps by a landslide.

Johnson's Speech

That was an excellent speech. Key Snip

If there is one thing that can hold us back in these talks it is the sense in Brussels that MPs may find some way to cancel the referendum. Or that tomorrow MPs will vote – with Jeremy Corbyn – for yet another pointless delay. I don’t think they will. I hope that they won’t.

But if they do they will plainly chop the legs out from under the UK position and make any further negotiation absolutely impossible.

And so I say, to show our friends in Brussels that we are united in our purpose, MPs should vote with the government against Corbyn’s pointless delay.

I want everybody to know – there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts.

Fantasyland Proposal

Hillary Benn, the Shadow (opposition) Brexit Secretary put out a laughable series of eight Tweets regarding a bill he concocted that is supposed to stop a no deal brexit.

Then bill demands the Prime Minister must send a letter to the President of the European Council requesting an Article 50 extension until January 31, 2020.

As noted above the notion is preposterous for many reasons, the most import of which is that the bill is not legally binding.

Johnson's Positioning

Putting Corbyn to the Test

Earlier today Corbyn said he wants a general election after legislation blocking no-deal gets passed. Such legislation will of course be totally useless.

Since the Fixed-Terms Act requires 2/3 majority, Labour votes will be needed for an early election to happen.

Corbyn Cornered

Putting Benn to the Test

How Many Rebels Are There?

Guardian Live Blog Closing Summary

  1. The prime minister will seek to hold a general election on 14 October if Parliament votes to hand control of the legislative timetable to the opposition on Tuesday, a government source said. Boris Johnson claimed Brussels would not engage until the possibility of legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit or a reversal of the whole process was removed and called for MPs to back him.
  2. He sought to ramp up the pressure on those Tory MPs minded not to do so as the Commons prepares to debate legislation designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit. MPs were left in no doubt that Tuesday’s vote would be treated as a confidence vote by No 10 and the consequences for voting against Downing Street would be withdrawal of the whip. The work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, was one of those who urged Johnson not to go down that road.
  3. In an address outside Downing Street, Johnson indicated he would refuse to ask Brussels for a delay to Brexit, even if a law was passed requiring him to do so. Johnson said there were “no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October - no ifs or buts”.

Removing the Whip

Point number two is the critical one.

Party members voting against Johnson will be removed from the party.

UK Election Polls

UK Polling Trends

Ever since Johnson insisted he would deliver Brexit, Tory polling numbers soared.

Best Outcome for Johnson

The best outcome for Johnson would be for Hammond and all the Remainers to be outed then for Johnson to win in a landslide.

I suspect, when push comes to shove only a few Tory rebels will be willing to fall on their sword. And if Johnson calls for elections on October 14, it will be very difficult for Corbyn to block the elections keeping Johnson in power.

Potential Johnson Landslide

The problem for the opposition is the Liberal Democrats want to Remain while Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn wants a customs union or a vote on another referendum (depending on what strikes his mood at the moment).

In a first-past-the-post system (UK and US), where the winner is the one who gets the most votes as opposed to a proportional system such as Germany, Johnson might win with a huge landslide.

The chart shows that Brexit party members started returning home mid-July. That trend is likely to continue as long as Johnson stays firm on delivering Brexit.

One never knows how an election would turn out, but if the polls are believable, Johnson has to really put the screws to Labour and the rebel Tories.

The likely worst case scenario for Johnson is a small majority with a few rebels additionally losing their seats.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (50)
No. 1-13
avidremainer
avidremainer

If a bill becomes an Act of Parliament then it is the law of the land. If a law of the land instructs, in this case, Johnson to do something and he refuses then he resigns. A government cannot refuse to obey the law. No one is above the law. I remind you that you said that nothing could force Mrs May to obey a similar law passed by parliament in the spring. She obeyed the law. More importantly Johnson blinked.

we_will_be_Ok
we_will_be_Ok

Who cares on this side of the pond? So what? Loss of relevance on the part of British and specifically English to the world is irresistible and irreversible, Brexit or no. The video that I posted and which was deleted on Boris was funny. It is entertainment...

Mish
Mish

Editor

"If a bill becomes an Act of Parliament then it is the law of the land. If a law of the land instructs, in this case, Johnson to do something and he refuses then he resigns"

I understand UK law far better than AvidRemainer

Until Johnson Delivers the Queen's Speech no legislation initiated by Parliament is Binding.

Parliament can legally amend legislation, but Johnson is not stupid enough to submit any.

"I remind you that you said that nothing could force Mrs May to obey a similar law passed by parliament in the spring. She obeyed the law. More importantly Johnson blinked."

I remind you that Theresa May submitted legislation. Parliament amended it. Yes, she was legally bound.

Please study up on UK law and report back.

Thanks

Mish
Mish

Editor

If there is an "emergency" declaration, and it passes Commons and the House of Lords then it becomes binding. That still does not force Johnson to honor it.

It will not come to that. The dates by Johnson's team were carefully selected.

Johnson will filibuster in the house of Lords long enough to make the point moot.

leicestersq
leicestersq

Boris Johnson is going to stitch us up one way or another. He has the power to deliver Brexit by delaying an election until Oct 31st or later. The only reason not to is if he is really in the tank for remain. Looks like a Oct 17th election.

JFDIagain
JFDIagain

Meanwhile in the EU...

Gabriel Felbermayr, president of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, says the strategy of forcing Britain to jump through divorce hoops before trade talks could begin was a serious error and has led to a dead-end.

“The EU must finally start to think strategically. This means giving up the dogma of the inviolable four freedoms and offering the UK, and likewise Switzerland, the maximum possible economic integration that is possible without political union,” he said.

_fin
_fin

What is interesting is the wording of the bill:

"If the European council decides to agree an extension of the period of Article 50(3) of the Treaty of the European Union ending at 11:00 pm on the 31st October 2019 but to a date other than 31st January 2020, the prime minister must, within a period of two days beginning with the end of the day of the European Council's decision is made or before the end of October 30th 2019, whichever is sooner, notify the president of the European Council that the United Kingdom agrees to the proposed extension"

Aside from the fact that this is a overt attempt at completely tying the governments hands and essentially allowing the EU to control the process, if you look at this:

It is a bit long and complicated but the conclusion is this: "The proponents of a new Bill to prevent No Deal are caught on the horns of a dilemma. If they draft a Bill that only mandates the PM to seek an extension, the PM would be left free to refuse to agree or accept any extension in negotiations with the EU27.

If, by contrast, MPs try to impose a requirement, by any method, that the PM agree or accept any new exit date from the EU27, Commons procedural rules mean that the government would be required formally to approve the Bill by affirming ‘Queen’s Consent’ to the Bill at the Third Reading stage. This is because the power to agree or accept an extension is normally exercised using a prerogative power. Any statute that had the legal effect, by whatever means, of forcing the PM to agree an extension to the Article 50 process would manifestly ‘affect’ the prerogative for the purposes of the relevant test as to whether Queen’s Consent is required."

In my mind, the bill does impose acceptance. According to the blog post, the irony is that the Gina Miller case and other cases has sort to clarify the distinction...in any case if the bill passes no doubt it will end up in the courts

caradoc-again
caradoc-again

Can't profess to know what is for the best but wonder if it might just be time for an election in any case?

Brexit or no-Brexit.

Oct 14th, Battle of Hastings. Defence vs Norman's from what is now France. History goes full circle. Independence or subjugation to a foreign entity. Let the people decide.

avidremainer
avidremainer

In answer to a question from Angela Eagle MP as to whether he would obey the law the liar has just replied replied " We will of course obey the law and constitution." No one is above the law. Will you now ask whoever is advising you why they don't know what they are talking about?

Expat
Expat

I understand Brexiteers (though I don't understand American Brexiteers who are typically ignorant about all things European but hate the EU on principle yet love the USA which is a similar political structure...why don't you attack DC, boys?). Brexiteers are older, white, racist Brits who were told a bunch of lies about budgets, borders and laws. The Remainers never believed people were stupid enough to leave so they did not campaign very hard and did not turn out to vote in the same numbers as Leavers.

It was never suggested by Brexiteers or anyone that Britain would leave "cold turkey" with no agreements regarding travel, work, and the Irish Border. Brexiteers promised better trade deals that would be in place before Brexit, but this was illegal and never happened.

Most Brits don't want a hard Brexit (No-Deal Brexit is not a real thing since the EU agreement provides the terms for leaving). They know that a hard deal will be very painful and probably lead to a restart of violence in Northern Ireland.

So now Boris is trying to leave without a deal, despite all the promises he made during Brexit campaigning. Perhaps this is a negotiating tactic with the EU, but the EU doesn't give a rat's ass anymore. Britain has gotten all it will get from the EU.

This harping on about the Will of the People is pure bullshit. The people don't want a hard Brexit. Most of those who voted to leave want the Miracle Brexit with Ponies, Unicorns and Jam Doughnuts that Farage and Johnson promised them three years ago.

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

If you want to know why it is best to leave the EU, all you really need do on this site is read the comments of Avidremainer in this thread. That is the lunacy you are dealing with as a country.

Look, if the Remainers in Parliament really had the support of the voters, they would have voted to revoke Article 50 a year ago, or vote to do so today. All this maneuvering about further extensions, or prohibitions against No-Deal Brexit are just indications that the Remainers don't really have the support of the people.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Expat: "Filibusters will not be effective. The rules governing speeches are very different. There is already a clear plan and rules for circumventing filibusters. Any bill proposed by Remainers or Dealers will NOT be filibustered in Lords. Study up on English parliamentary law and report back."

Mish: My report back - From the Guardian Today "Normally there are no time limits on debates in the Lords. Peers do not use programme motions, which are used in the Commons to curtail debates so that bills complete all their stages by a particular time. This led to fears that pro-Brexit peers might filibuster the bill, so that it fails to clear the Lords before prorogation. But Angela Smith, the Labour leader in the Lords, has tabled a motion to be debated tomorrow that would ensure that all stages of the Benn bill must be completed by 5pm on Friday."

If accurate , Expat stands corrected - That said, they are attempting a filibuster work around. But I was correct, not expat. Q: is there a majority for Smith's motion?

Mish
Mish

Editor

Thanks to JustASimpleMan for an excellent set of comments