Some of UK politicians’ Brexit positions are nearly beyond belief. Here’s one of them.
Shadow (opposition) Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry proposed in a Brexit debate that she would seek the “best deal possible” with the EU, then campaign against it, favoring Remain.
Scorched Earth Coup
For the first time in its history, the cossetted, unelected panjandrums in the House of Lords, the epicentre of Remain fanaticism, this week ripped up its rules to ensure that Hilary Benn’s squalid Brussels capitulation Bill was fast-tracked through the Peers’ House in a dangerous and damaging precedent. By comparison, this Government has played fair. It could well have engineered a much longer filibuster to the Lords motion into this weekend but deferred to the established proprieties and called off the talkathon.
We are witnessing a strange kind of coup – a “sudden, violent and illegal seizure of power from the government.” Instead of tanks or colonels in dark glasses and moustaches, however, we have John Major – demented by Brexit Derangement Syndrome – going to court to fight prorogation, a tactic he himself pursued in 1997, for rather less noble reasons.
And who encouraged him back then in this draconian and unjustified course of action? His then-Chancellor, the newly Whipless Kenneth Clarke. Karma can sometimes bite you on the posterior.
For all the turmoil, Boris Johnson retains a united Cabinet, growing public support and poll ratings. He is hugely popular with his membership and Conservative and Brexit Party supporters, who make up around half of likely voters.
He also faces a split Remain opposition, characterised by cynical opportunism, weakness and risible incoherence, as evidenced by Emily Thornberry’s car crash appearance on BBC Question Time last night, in which she promised to campaign for Remain against a Leave deal ‘expertly’ negotiated by her own party! The voters can see all this and they don’t like it.
Please note that Just 18% of Voters Back Corbyn to Become Prime Minister.
Clearly one of those is an outlier, Even still, it is best to add Tory votes to the Brexit Party to understand the true setup.
Tough choices need making: Bercow’s interpretation of the arcane device of Queen’s Consent in the Brexit blocking Bill is almost certainly counter to the advice of Commons clerks and constitutional law experts and surely nullifies the bona fides of this pernicious legislation. As such, refusal of Royal Assent by Her Majesty must surely have remained an option. However, that ship might have sailed.
I discussed both Queen’s Consent in Bill to Stop No Deal Brexit Passes Lords: Legal Challenge May Come Monday
For all the premature triumphalism of Remainers, they will not seek – at least in the short term – to remove the PM via a vote of no confidence and so we assume that they seek to humiliate him first by sending him naked into the EU conference chamber with the instrument of surrender authored by the EU, Dominic Grieve and others. The disgrace and embarrassment will be theirs and not our Prime Minister’s. If it has to be so, it will merely pull the elastic tighter for when it snaps back on his tormentors at the General Election.
In the meantime, Boris will no doubt take one more lesson from John Major. In one of his most thespian moments during the EU “beef war” in 1996, he promised to be as difficult and truculent as possible with his lords and masters in Brussels, with vetoes on budgets, regulations, directives and the like.
Boris can and will do exactly the same with aplomb until Macron, Merkel and their coterie honour our democratic mandate and profoundest wish: “Let us go.”
Brexit Trap Set
I like the term “Premature Triumphalism”.
Johnson still has options, and lots of them.
A Brexit trap has been set. Here’s the question: Who is the Trapee?