Can Boris still force a no deal Brexit?

Thursday 10th October 2019

The storms are gathering over Westminster, and while Jeremy Corbyn has cited that he is eager to have a general election once the possibility of a no deal Brexit has been cemented, there is still the possibility that regardless of the Benn Act,( which forces Johnson to ask for an extension) if a deal has not been agreed he might still stay on this isolationist track.

From the outset, Johnson has insisted that the UK will leave the EU on Halloween, with the same gusto as Trump employed with his Make America Great Again mantra.

Even International Trade Secretary reiterated this message yesterday with the conviction that, "We'll leave without a deal. That's clear - deal or no deal, we're leaving on the 31st.”

So how can a prime minister, who it appears is shackled by the law, achieve his ambition if he can’t win over Brussels with his version of The Withdrawal Agreement?

There seems to be a couple of options.

Firstly Johnson could follow the letter of the law, write the letter as set out in The Benn Act and follow it up with a second letter which then revokes the first, or he could persuade one of the EU 27 to veto his letter which would make the EU unable to grant the extension as requested.

In the most dramatic scenario, which even Cummings and Johnson might see as a step too far, the prime minister could simply refuse to send the letter, wait for the law to be implemented and hope the time that the lawyers would take would be longer than the October 31 deadline.

He could even simply refuse to resign, even if  he lost a vote of no confidence in his administration, and squat in Number 10.

In normal political circumstances all of these alternatives to requesting a Brexit extension would appear to be in the realms of fantasy, but these are simply not normal times and the UK’s political landscape is being etched daily with unexpected and unexplored paths and territory.

It is therefore absolutely no surprise that Corbyn is reluctant to hand the PM a general election, when he has given the opposition parties little indication that he can be trusted.

Government After The Next Election

Conservative Majority 1/3
Labour Minority 6/1
Conservative Minority 11/1
Labour – Snp Coalition 12/1
Conservative – Dup Coalition 18/1
Labour – Lib Dem – Snp Coalition 22/1
Labour – Lib Dem Coalition 25/1
Labour Majority 25/1
Conservative – Brexit Party Coalition 33/1
Conservative – Lib Dem Coalition 66/1
Lib Dem – Snp Coalition 200/1
Lib Dem Minority 200/1
Conservative – Labour Coalition 300/1
Lib Dem Majority 400/1
Brexit Party Minority 750/1

Government After The Next Election

5. Conservative – Dup Coalition
6. Labour – Lib Dem – Snp Coalition
7. Labour – Lib Dem Coalition
9. Conservative – Brexit Party Coalition
10. Conservative – Lib Dem Coalition
11. Lib Dem – Snp Coalition
13. Conservative – Labour Coalition
Odds correct as of 12th Dec, 09:35 . Odds are subject to change.
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