Boris Johnson has responded to claims that his decision to prorogue Parliament has ended UK democracy – by claiming that he needed to do it to get a Brexit deal.
It’s a classic “dead cat” strategy, in that he is trying to distract us from what he has done by directing our attention to something different.
It’s also complete and utter nonsense.
His decision to prorogue Parliament denies MPs the chance to have any meaningful discussion of Brexit before the UK drops out of the EU without a withdrawal agreement on October 31.
Asked how this squared with the claim that leaving the EU would allow Parliament to “take back control”, he completely failed to answer the question.
Instead, he suggested the move to prorogue parliament was part of the government’s attempts to show the EU that it was serious about leaving with or without a deal on October 31.
He said: “It is by getting ready to come out anyway that we have greatly strengthened our position with our friends and partners in the EU, because they see that we are serious.”
Nobody has ever considered Boris Johnson to be a serious politician.
“What I want to do now, which is I think what most people in the country want the government to do, is get on and try and get an agreement.”
We have no reason to believe that this is happening. The EU says it is not changing its position and Mr Johnson has given no indication that he is going to do so, leaving us all in deadlock – still.
So we are left with the fact that Mr Johnson is denying Parliament a voice on this matter, and the default position is still that the UK leaves the EU with no deal at Hallowe’en.
In fact, BoJob’s comments seem more like a “normalisation” strategy – an attempt to say that nothing is wrong and to claim as a falsehood what we all know to be the fact of the matter:
The normalisation begins… pic.twitter.com/ovR3qznkvh
— alan rusbridger (@arusbridger) August 30, 2019
“Calm down. The government has acted to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the European Union. It is wrong, and hysterical, to speak of a coup.” Does anybody believe that, from that most complicit of the Tories’ media outlets, The Times?
Oh, and by the way, we know a few other national leaders who wanted to “get on” with their policies without the aid of a democratically-elected Parliament:
— Peter 🏳️🌈 #BLM (@MePeterNicholls) August 29, 2019
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