Brexit – What’s Happened So Far This Week?

Brexit is moving so fast that by the time you have read this article, the circumstance will have changed again.

The latest moves are Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lost his first major vote in Parliament as a cross-party coalition of MPs colluded against him to take charge of business in the House of Commons.

The opposition included 21 Tories voting against their prime minister who have now been stripped of their party membership and cannot stand for the Conservatives in the next General Election – whenever that might be.

The House is now set to introduce a bill that will stop Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal, forcing Johnson to ask the EU for an extension to try and find a deal and making surer MPs approve the deal before departure. The arrangement effectively stops a no deal Brexit.

Threat of an election

Johnson is threatening an election, but seems not to command enough support without the backing of Labour.

Labour wants the bill outlawing a no deal to become law before supporting a call for an election.

Westminster appears locked in a stalemate – but politicians have overlooked a key fact – The EU might not offer an extension, which means Britain will still leave the EU on October 31 without a deal. To gain an extension, the government must put forward some points to discuss, which Johnson seems unable or unwilling to do.

Meanwhile, the legal challenge against Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament has suffered a major setback in the Scottish courts, where a judge has ruled the matter is outside of the remit of the law.

The plaintiffs – another group of MPs headed by Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson –  disagree and the case may go to appeal.

Wafer thin majority lost

Johnson has also lost his wafer then majority of one in the Commons as Tory Tim Lee crossed the floor to join the Lib Dems.

How voters will take these moves is hard to predict.

Many of Johnson’s opponents say he is undemocratic over prorogation and his intention to see through a no deal exit on October 31, but the EU referendum asked a simple question – leave or remain.

The question did not ask about leaving with or without a deal, so Johnson’s claim he is following the will of the people is correct.

Any election is effectively a second, unofficial referendum and will seal Britain’s fate as a member of the EU.