MPs from all parties except the DUP have written to demand that Boris Johnson recalls Parliament from recess to debate Brexit.
A total of 110 MPs, including the leaders of the SNP, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Plaid Cymru and Change UK have signed the letter, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is understood to be backing the recall.
But are they enough? 110 MPs – 111 with Mr Corbyn – is still only slightly more than one-sixth of Parliament.
After the way Jo Swinson was treated for trying to influence Labour’s “no confidence” proposal (with only 14 MPs when Labour has 247), BoJob could quite legitimately argue that this is an attempt by the tail to wag the dog, as it were; that a majority of Parliament is not calling for the summer recess to be terminated so there’s no reason for him to agree.
The aim of the recall would be “to allow MPs to hear statements from you and your ministers on progress towards a Brexit deal and to scrutinise your preparations for a ‘no deal’ on 31 October.”
The letter states: “Our country is on the brink of an economic crisis, as we career towards a ‘no deal Brexit’ which will have an immediate effect on food and medical supplies, damage our economy, jobs, the public finances, public services, universities and long-term economic security. A ‘no deal Brexit’ also threatens our crucial security cooperation to keep our country safe from criminals and terrorists.”
It points out: “At times of grave economic emergency and threats to our national security Parliament has been recalled to allow MPs to make representations on behalf of their constituents and to hold Ministers to account.”
And it concludes: “This UK Parliament was elected by the people of the UK in 2017. Your fragile majority is a reflection of the democratic choices of the people of this country then, and since, and the representatives of the people must be able to do their job in holding you and your government to account in these unprecedented times.”
— Debbie Abrahams MP (@Debbie_abrahams) August 17, 2019
Understand Jeremy Corbyn is also making clear separately that he backs the recall
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) August 17, 2019
The demand is particularly timely after the leak of information on ‘Operation Yellowhammer’, a report on which states the “most likely” effects of leaving the EU without a deal would be a three-month “meltdown” at the UK’s ports, and food and medicine shortages.
The leaked documents suggest that the UK will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border in Ireland.
Mr Johnson himself is currently said to be preparing to tell EU leaders that he needs a new deal to replace Theresa May’s thrice-failed withdrawal agreement – or the UK will crash out of the bloc without a deal on October 31 and there is nothing Parliament can do to prevent it.
It is just about the stupidest thing he could do.
In effect, he’s saying: “You must do a deal that is better for the UK or I will make sure the UK seriously harms itself. The EU won’t suffer any consequences at all.”
European leaders should be expected to shrug and say, “So what?”
He would be well-advised to accept the demand to recall Parliament and join other MPs in working throughout the summer and autumn to rescue the UK from this disaster he, personally, did so much to create. Their holibobs aren’t anything like as important as the economic future of every single UK citizen for the next generation or more.
And if he doesn’t accept the logic of it?
Maybe this will push more MPs over to supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s plan for a “no confidence” vote that will stop Mr Johnson in his tracks.
POSTSCRIPT: Meanwhile our mainstream media are quiet. Have you seen anything about this letter on the national news?
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