The pub reacts to Boris Johnson’s post-cabinet Brexit/election speech

Boris Johnson made an impromptu speech after his emergency cabinet session today that was almost utterly pointless.

But it caught This Writer completely by surprise – I was at my local at the time, where I meet a friend for a coffee sometimes.

It’s actually a hotel rather than a pub, and I overheard a guest talking about BoJob getting the podium out as he was leaving his room to meet friends or family (I don’t know which) in the bar.

So I looked up what was going on, using my mobile (gosh, technology!) and read out what I found, as the Dictator had already finished. Then I had to read it again as I had the attention of the room.

Here’s how that went:

“Boris Johnson says when he became PM he said he would not wait before making changes. That is why he has made a series of policy announcements… It is to push forward these measures that he needs a Queen’s speech.”

“Rubbish!” from one of the audience.

“He says he has been encouraged by the progress being made towards a Brexit deal.”

“What progress?”

“He says there are three reasons why it has become more likely. The EU can see the UK wants a deal. It can see the UK has a vision for Brexit. And it can see the UK is preparing for no-deal.”

“How’s that?”

“He says MPs will chop the legs off his negotiating position if they vote tomorrow to rule out no-deal.”

“I’d like to chop his legs off.” This from a particularly dark and surly-looking fellow.

“He says there are no circumstances in which he will delay Brexit. Armed with this conviction, he believes he will get a deal at the EU summit in October.”

“But that’s on October 17,” I said, interrupting myself. “It’ll be too late to change course after that.” Gruff murmurs of agreement.

“He says negotiators should be allowed to get on with their work – without an election. I don’t want an election and you don’t want one either, he says.”

In unison: “So there’ll be an election in October, then.”

And it seems as though we’re right.

A later entry in the Graun‘s live blog states that the operative part of Dictator Johnson’s speech was:

I want everybody to know there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October – no ifs or buts. We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises or scrub that referendum.

That’s a direct threat that he will refuse to be bound by the anti-“no deal” Bill being tabled by Hilary Benn, even if it is passed.

But his only alternative is an election.

And already the date of such a poll is in dispute!

Apparently news reporters are being told it would be on October 14, but this would deny Jewish voters the chance to take part as this would be the first day of the festival of Sukhot.

If this is his preferred date, Dictator Johnson is either really inept, or anti-Semitic. It will be interesting to see which it is.

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12 thoughts on “The pub reacts to Boris Johnson’s post-cabinet Brexit/election speech

  1. stevedavidh

    “That’s a direct threat that he will refuse to be bound by the anti-“no deal” Bill being tabled by Hilary Benn, even if it is passed.”

    This legal opinion states that he can’t do this.

    “On Sunday 11 August 2019, Rose Slowe * was interviewed by Richard Foster on BBC Radio 5 about Article 50 and the legality of a no-deal Brexit.
    3 mins read
    It is Rose Slowe’s contention that, without a further Act of Parliament specifically authorising Brexit in one form or another, the United Kingdom cannot leave the European Union as a matter of law and the European Union will not be able to expel it.
    The following is an extract from Rose Slowe’s BBC interview.
    What does Article 50 actually mean in terms of leaving the European Union?
    The Article 50 process is that which has been laid down by the EU in its Treaties setting out the way in which a Member State can leave the Union. There are a number of sub provisions in Article 50. They specify, quite importantly, that a Member State can only leave in accordance with a decision that is taken in a constitutionally compliant manner.
    So, for example, an authoritarian leader could not take a Member State out of the European Union in breach of the domestic constitution; withdrawal has to be done at the Member State level in a constitutionally compliant way.
    Article 50 also provides that the leaving Member State must notify the European Union of its intention to leave, which the United Kingdom did; that was the Article 50 notice issued. Then, after 2 years, if these steps have been completed, the EU Treaties cease to apply to that Member State, they have effectively left the Union, unless, and this has happened in the UK’s case, the European Union decides to extend that period. This period has been provided for so that the Member State which is leaving can negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the EU.

    So, it has to come down to Parliament passing a law saying that the United Kingdom can leave the European Union?
    Yes, in the United Kingdom’s case, because a fundamental principle of the UK’s unwritten constitution is that Parliament is sovereign. We had the Supreme Court look at this issue in the Miller litigation and rule that it was Parliament – our elected legislature – that brought us into the EU with the 1972 European Communities Act and so it can only be Parliament, and not a Government or Prime Minister, that can take us out of the EU in accordance with the constitutional principle of parliamentary sovereignty. That is specific to the UK’s constitution; it has to be Parliament that legislates to take us out of the European Union.

    What would happen if, as has been mooted, Boris Johnson suspends parliament to enable the Brexit process to take place?
    He simply cannot do that as a matter of law. The Supreme Court has already held that the Government alone cannot bring the country out of the EU, it has to be by an Act of Parliament. So, any attempt by the Government to do that would not be legally effective, they just do not have the power.

    Does this mean we are less likely to leave the European Union on 31 October?
    Unless there is an Act of Parliament authorising a no-deal Brexit, or Brexit on the terms of a withdrawal agreement, legally the United Kingdom will not be leaving the European Union. On my interpretation of the constitution and EU Treaties, Brexit will not take effect without a further Act of Parliament authorising it in one form or another.

    Can the European Union actually throw the UK out if they decide that they have had enough with everything?
    A founding principle of the European Union is that it shows deference to Member State’s national constitutions, this is a premise of EU law. Indeed, the need for a constitutionally compliant exit is specifically provided for in Article 50. So, if we had our Supreme Court determine that we require a further Act of Parliament in order to leave the European Union in a constitutional manner, the EU could not expel the United Kingdom if to do so would be in breach of our domestic constitutional requirements.
    Even the European Union’s most sever sanctioning mechanisms that can be deployed against a Member State found to be in breach of the Union’s founding values does not allow it to expel that Member State. The EU simply does not have the power to kick out a Member State, it has to be the Member State’s decision to leave in one way or another and this decision has to be a constitutionally compliant one.

    So, without a law passed by Parliament, and without the European Union having the jurisdiction to throw the United Kingdom out of the Union, the UK will just be left in a state of limbo?
    Yes, we would simply remain a Member State. It is even arguable that the Article 50 notice issued would lapse and cease to be of effect as it has to be interpreted as being subject to the condition that it would be made effective by an Act of Parliament down the line; it was a conditional notice and if these conditions are not met it would just lapse and the UK would continue to retain its EU membership.

    1. stevedavidh

      I appreciate that this comment is a bit on the long side but I thought each of the areas it covers was relevant. Please feel free to edit it.

      1. Zippi

        This being the case, why are our M.P.s in such a flap? Why, also, did they not legislate to outlaw our leaving without a deal in the last years, were it of such importance? There appears to be much hysteria, or political game playing, in order to whip the populous into a feared frenzy. Surely, the Government and others, have lawyers who will, or should have examined every possibility, given that this is setting precedent? I can’t can’t help but think that something else is going on, here and I have been saying, for the last 3 years and more, that a situation could be engineered to make it impossible for us to leave. If we cannot leave, as it our democratically expressed desire, by majority in the Referendum, what does that mean?

  2. Zippi

    “Apparently news reporters are being told it would be on October 14, but this would deny Jewish voters the chance to take part as this would be the first day of the festival of Sukhot.” Not to defend the man but how many of us know this? I don’t and my best friend is Jewish. I think it more to do with the E.U. Summit than anything else.
    To be perfectly honest, I’m done with it. I’m sick to my back teeth of the game playing, the political shenanigans, the scheming, the point scoring, the hyposcrisy and worst of all, the politicians who insist on telling us why we voted and what we voted for, like they ever listen to us. I’m sick of the lot of them!

  3. Robbo

    It would deny Jewish people the chance to take part….they will have ample time before Sukhot to arrange a postal or proxy vote if an election is called..

  4. Rachel

    He has a third option, he could resign so he personally doesn’t have to extend/revoke. I suspect a GE is far more likely.

  5. david

    “We will not accept any attempt to go back on our promises or scrub that referendum.” So by not going back on your promises how much does Boris plan he will give to the NHS? I believe it’s on the side of a bus somewhere…

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