Tag Archives: no confidence

Are ‘numbers in place’ to pass Brexit deal AND a vote of ‘no confidence’ in Boris Johnson?

Thumb up: but does Boris Johnson have the numbers to pass his horrific Brexit deal, or is he just bluffing?

This is very curious indeed.

According to the BBC, “The government says it will push ahead with efforts to pass its Brexit deal, despite a major setback to its plans… Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was confident enough MPs would back the deal next week, and Brexit would still happen by the deadline.”

Alternatively: “Parliamentary arithmetic has the potential to stack up in a successful no-confidence vote – which would require only a simple majority of one vote.”

Could anything better demonstrate how finely-balanced opinions in Parliament are? At the moment, both statements could be true.

But the Brexit deal depends on the Democratic Unionist Party supporting Boris Johnson’s government, and after Saturday’s vote – in which the DUP voted against the government – that seems unlikely.

And the “no confidence” vote depends on both the DUP and the Liberal Democrats supporting it. The Lib Dems are coming close to crunch time now, with choices narrowing down to support for a Jeremy Corbyn-led interim government dedicated to stopping a “no deal” Brexit and securing a general election or support for the Brexit that the party has spent the last few years claiming to oppose.

Rest assured that there will be much verbiage about this in the papers and on TV.

All those words will be meaningless.

All that matters will be what these politicians do.

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Liberal Democrat MPs are still trying to hold the UK to ransom, to save their failed careers

Chuka Umunna: He joined the Liberal Democrats but his Streatham seat is staunchly Labour; it seems the Lib Dems are willing to support a ‘no deal’ Brexit, in defiance of their promises to voters, so MPs like him can keep the seats they no longer deserve to occupy.

Novice Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson is putting a vote of no confidence in the government at risk by insisting that Jeremy Corbyn should not become caretaker prime minister, it seems.

Parliamentary precedent shows that, after a successful vote of ‘no confidence’ in a sitting government, it is the leader of the largest opposition party – in this case Mr Corbyn – who first tries to form a replacement.

But Ms Swinson has written another begging letter to Mr Corbyn saying his insistence on being interim leader means there is a danger too few MPs will support the vote.

What she omits is the fact that this is only because her own party is threatening to support the government instead. Several current Liberal Democrat MPs fear losing their seats in a general election called by Mr Corbyn, it seems.

In fairness, we don’t even know if her claim has any accuracy to it at all.

It requires all Conservative MPs, and all the Democratic Unionist Party that is propping up Boris Johnson’s government, to vote for the government – and many may abstain rather than be seen to support BoJob’s ‘no deal’ Brexit disaster-in-the-making.

So what we’re seeing is the selfishness of a few Liberal Democrats, who are trying to hold an entire nation to ransom for the sake of their failed careers.

In her letter to Mr Corbyn, Ms Swinson added: “Insisting you lead that emergency government will therefore jeopardise the chances of a no confidence vote gaining enough support to pass in the first place.

“As you have said that you would do anything to avoid no deal, I hope you are open to a discussion about how conceding this point may open the door to a no-confidence vote succeeding. Its success must be the priority.”

Labour did not respond to the letter.

Instead, the party referred to comments made by its shadow international trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, who on Sunday described Ms Swinson as “extremely petulant” for dismissing Mr Corbyn’s initial proposal to lead a temporary government.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn risks scuppering no-confidence vote, says Jo Swinson – BBC News

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Lib Dems double down on claims about Corbyn – proving they’ve learned SOMEthing from the Tories

Liberal Democrats have two choices: support Jeremy Corbyn and stop “no deal” Brexit or deny him that support and enable it – betraying the voters who supported them to stop Brexit.

It’s called “The Big Lie” – the idea that, if you repeat a falsehood often enough, people will believe it.

In this case, the Liberal Democrats have a lie that someone other than Jeremy Corbyn could lead a caretaker government to prevent a “no deal” Brexit and call a general election.

They’ve been told it won’t happen and they have to work within the system established in Parliament.

But after Mr Corbyn’s barnstorming speech today (August 19), the Lib Dem Brexit spokesman – one Tom Brake – said: “It is clear Jeremy Corbyn cannot command a majority in the House. He must do the right thing and confirm that if he cannot, he will support someone who can.”

He knows that it isn’t clear that Mr Corbyn can’t command a majority in the Commons (for example, how many Conservatives would abstain when it came to a vote? Mr Brake doesn’t know). So he lied. Again.

As for the rest: Mr Corbyn had already explained his position – which is the situation as described by the UK’s constitution – in his speech. He said: “There seems to be an awful lot of very imaginative what-iffery in the press at the present time.

“I am the leader of the opposition, the leader of the Labour party. All the constitutional precedents are, when a government collapses, it’s the leader of the opposition that takes over.

“We will put a motion of no confidence in the government. We will we will do everything we can to stop a no deal Brexit.

“I have written to the leaders of all of the other opposition parties inviting them to join me in this and I simply say to them this and to those probably quite small number of Conservatives who are alarmed at the prospect of a no deal Brexit; If you’re serious about stopping an no-deal Brexit, then back my motion of no confidence to stop this government taking us over a cliff edge on October 31.”

The message is clear: get behind Jeremy Corbyn if you want to stop “no deal” Brexit. Otherwise, you’re enabling it.

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Grieve won’t help Corbyn into Downing Street – but can Swinson be persuaded?

Jo Swinson: Was this how she looked when she was told her rejection of Jeremy Corbyn’s offer had gone down like the Titanic?

Tory rebel Dominic Grieve seems to have rowed back on his agreement to talk with Jeremy Corbyn about supporting his ‘no confidence’ plan to topple Boris Johnson.

In an email seen by the New Statesman, Grieve responded to someone critical of the Labour leader’s plan by stating: “I entirely agree. I am not about to facilitate Jeremy Corbyn’s arrival in Downing Street.”

So what, exactly, was he going to say, once he got into a negotiating chamber with the Labour leader?

The issues are clear: Either help Mr Corbyn stop BoJob’s plan for a “no deal” Brexit or be counted among its facilitators.

It is the same issue that is facing Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson. After being made to look a fool for dismissing Mr Corbyn’s plan outright yesterday, is she mature enough to swallow her wounded pride, admit she may have been mistaken, and come to the table?

Caroline Lucas hopes so:

Ms Lucas also suffered ridicule earlier this week, when he call for an all-female alternative cabinet attracted criticism for being both sexist and racist. She has showed the maturity necessary to realise that her idea was a mistake, reconsider, and come around to supporting Mr Corbyn.

Many others are appealing for Ms Swinson to do the same and help give Mr Corbyn the Parliamentary majority he needs.

Jonathan Lis, in The Guardian, has claimed that Ms Swinson has put herself in a difficult position that needs to be explained: “Swinson has always emphasised, rightly, that her party’s priority is to stop no deal. This could prove the only way to do so. If the Lib Dems really believe that a few months of a limited Corbyn government is worse than medicine shortages, it is their duty to say why.”

Can she? It seems doubtful.

Mr Lis, of the think tank British Influence, continued: “It is time for the Lib Dems, and indeed all remainers, to decide what they really want. A few months of a Corbyn government is not worse than infrastructural or economic collapse. If your most important goal is to stop no deal, you must take every conceivable step to do just that. Our politicians will not benefit from the catastrophe of a crash-out Brexit. But, far more importantly, neither will the British people.”

If Ms Swinson is indeed interested in stopping Brexit – and not just in stopping Jeremy Corbyn – then these issues should be on her mind.

Also on her mind should be the decisions of the people who have voted Liberal Democrat in recent months, on the understanding that they were supporting the ‘Party of Remain’. If she flat-out refuses an opportunity to stop Brexit, she will be betraying them. And it seems likely that Boris Johnson will call a general election immediately after his Brexit happens on October 31, if he gets that far. What will those voters do then?

The most likely choice for them is to abandon her – and her party.

Her knee-jerk reaction also induced people to remember the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary record – and the recollection is far from palatable:

And the commenters on the social media made up their minds very quickly:

Ms Swinson’s offer to support a ‘no confidence’ vote and interim government if it was led by Harriet Harman or Kenneth Clarke (she thought these were the longest-serving MPs of either gender in the House of Commons but in fact Dennis Skinner is the longest-serving male MP; he refused the title “Father of the House” so it went to the next-eligible candidate) has also been met with derision:

And many think she’s just a Tory in disguise:

On the subject of principles: As I have been writing this, a Liberal Democrat source has told the Independent that the party has “no principled objection” to supporting Mr Corbyn as an interim prime minister.

So it seems even her own MPs won’t support Ms Swinson – if only now that they have seen the way the wind is blowing.

Will she make the smart choice, admit she spoke too soon, and get behind Mr Corbyn now?

Labour Brexiters’ offer to Johnson may not be the betrayal of Jeremy Corbyn that it seems

Odd couple: Stephen Kinnock is married to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who was prime minister of Denmark between 2011 and 2015. Denmark remains part of the EU but Mr Kinnock is a staunch Brexiter.

At first glance it looks like a betrayal – undermining Jeremy Corbyn just when he’s building up support against Boris Johnson among opposition parties. But is it?

The Guardian is reporting that a large group of Labour Brexiters have announced that they would now support Theresa May’s old, three-times-rejected EU withdrawal agreement, as they believe this is the only way of ensuring that the Brexit doesn’t happen without any deal at all.

Labour MPs opposed to a second referendum are considering a “radical and dramatic intervention” to make clear to Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson they are prepared to vote for a Brexit deal, with one estimating that dozens of colleagues are now ready to back the withdrawal agreement.

Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP who coordinates around 30 MPs in a group called Respect the Result, said he believed that passing the withdrawal agreement was the most certain way of stopping the UK crashing out without a deal.

Despite Johnson’s refusal to negotiate with the EU unless it drops the backstop, Kinnock said a time would come in the autumn when a compromise deal could be done based on the withdrawal agreement that emerged out of cross-party talks.

Putting aside for a moment the fact that no withdrawal agreement emerged from cross-party talks (it was foisted on us out-of-the-blue by Theresa May), it seems to be too late for Boris Johnson to accept such a move.

The old withdrawal agreement accepted the Northern Ireland border backstop mechanism, and BoJob is firmly opposed to it. He will not accept an agreement that includes it and this is a main sticking-point in his current dialogue with the EU27.

So it seems unlikely that Mr Kinnock and his crew will have their way.

The question arises: Then what will they do?

I reckon their best bet is to support Mr Corbyn. Both they and he want to stop a “no deal” Brexit and his plan for another referendum, while unappealing to them, does at least include an option of Brexit with an agreed deal.

It’s not what they want, but it might just be the next-best thing.

Source: Labour bloc plans ‘radical’ move to push through Brexit deal | Politics | The Guardian

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Here’s why Corbyn is right to say he’d allow Scotland another independence poll

Good politics: If offering Scots the chance to vote for another independence referendum allows this to happen, then by the time they get to vote, Scots may not want it.

Of course Jeremy Corbyn is right to support the words of his shadow chancellor, and to correct the leader of Scottish Labour. If Scotland wants another independence referendum, it should have one.

The principle behind this is very simple: Westminster should rule England and the other countries of the United Kingdom by consent.

Also, of course, if you’re the Labour leader it doesn’t hurt to offer your colleagues in other political parties – like the SNP, for example – something they want when you’re asking for their help with something you want, like support in a vote of “no confidence” against a Tory leader you both want to remove.

Am I right?

Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed he believes Westminster should not block a second referendum on Scottish independence, but said he opposed the breakup of the UK.

Corbyn implicitly endorsed remarks by his close ally John McDonnell last week where he said a Labour government would not obstruct a fresh independence vote if there was sufficient support for one in the Scottish parliament.

Holyrood cannot hold a referendum without being given the powers to do so by the UK parliament.

Source: Corbyn: Westminster should not block second Scotland poll | Politics | The Guardian

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Tories line up to join Jeremy Corbyn against “no-deal” Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn: According to some commentators, he has played a “blinder”.

A former Tory – and a current one – have already signed on to support Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to stop Boris Johnson’s “no deal” Brexit.

Mr Corbyn has written to opposition party leaders in the House of Commons, along with key Conservatives, calling on them to support an early vote of “no confidence” in September, followed by a short-term Corbyn-led government whose purpose is solely to stop “no deal” Brexit and call a general election.

We already know that the Scottish National Party has said it will support the plan – if Mr Corbyn can demonstrate an ability to command a majority in the House of Commons.

Former Conservative Nick Boles, who resigned from the party because of its mishandling of Brexit, announced that he was supporting the plan earlier today (August 15).

Then Welsh Conservative MP Guto Bebb said he would back Mr Corbyn as well. His argument may prove persuasive to others:

The Green Party and Plaid Cymru have indicated interest – although both Caroline Lucas and Liz Saville-Roberts have claimed that Mr Corbyn should have committed to a people’s vote before a general election.

And Tory rebels Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin and Caroline Spelman have released a statement that they will talk with the Labour leadership.

It seems the only people guaranteed to oppose the Corbyn plan are Liberal Democrats.

Or are they?

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has become the whipping-girl of Parliament with her claim that Mr Corbyn would not be able to attract support – and has made it worse with another unwise suggestion that either Harriet Harman or Kenneth Clarke would be unobjectionable leaders the Commons could get behind.

Labour’s Angela Rayner was scathing:

Actually, let’s watch her saying it – I’ve got a video clip:

And there are other arguments…

And it seems the party leader who – if I recall correctly – said Jeremy Corbyn should quit because he can’t command the support of all his MPs… cannot command the support of all her MPs:

If you’re wondering about the meaning of “Meatloaf Remainer”, see:

And whose is the dissenting voice?

It belongs to Sarah Wollaston, the newest defector to be recruited to the Lib Dem ranks.

She said a temporary Jeremy Corbyn-led government would be “the lesser of two evils” in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Unfortunately we cannot praise her judgement unreservedly as she also said she didn’t think any Conservatives would support Mr Corbyn’s plan.

Battle lines are being drawn, and it seems likely only Ms Swinson, BoJob and the ERG (hard-Brexiteers the European Research Group) will end up on the side opposing Mr Corbyn. Come back soon for more revelations.

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True (blue) colours: Lib Dems betray their voters by supporting “no deal” Brexit

Brexiteers-in-chief: Jo Swinson and Boris Johnson. And you all thought Ms Swinson would do anything to keep the UK in the EU.

So he should be. This is what happens when you elect a Tory-supporting quisling to be leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written a letter to the leaders of opposition parties including the SNP, Lib Dems, and Plaid Cymru, along with prominent Conservatives who oppose Boris Johnson’s “no-deal” Brexit.

In it, he proposes that they support his plan for an early vote of “no confidence” in September, allowing him to set up a short-term government to block Brexit under the terms preferred by Mr Johnson and call a general election.

And the Liberal Democrats under Jo Swinson have rejected it, for unsupportable reasons. This is a betrayal of everybody who voted for them in the belief that they oppose Brexit.

Here’s Mr Corbyn’s letter:

And here’s the Liberal Democrat reply, as given by Chuka Umunna on the BBC’s Newsnight. I doubt anyone would disagree with Liam Young’s comment now:

“And there you have it from the chameleons mouth,” wrote Rachael Swindon on Twitter. “The Lib Dims would rather a Boris Johnson No Deal Brexit and a hard-right Government than a temporary Corbyn-led Government to seek an extension to Article 50 and a general election. Unforgivable.”

She later added: “I know we used to laugh about the Lib Dims preferring a No Deal Brexit and a Johnson Government to a Corbyn-led Government. Surely they’re not *that* silly? Tonight, live on Newsnight, the Lib Dims just died.”

Mr Umunna, of course, has a vested interest in putting off any general election; he would instantly lose his seat in the House of Commons to a Labour candidate.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, who supported the Tories throughout the Coalition government and seems determined to support them now, is quoted by Politics Home as saying: “Jeremy Corbyn is not the person who is going to be able to build an even temporary majority in the House of Commons for this task – I would expect there are people in his own party and indeed the necessary Conservative backbenchers who would be unwilling to support him. It is a nonsense.”

Ms Swinson added: “This letter is just more red lines that are about him and his position and is not a serious attempt to find the right solution and build a consensus to stop a no-deal Brexit.”

This is building castles in the air. Ms Swinson does not know the way the Commons’ 639 (voting) MPs will go, of a “no confidence” vote is put before them. She is simply trying to protect Boris Johnson.

Labour MP Emma Hardy put it succinctly: “Lib Dems siding with the Tories instead of Labour. Same old, same old. Yellow Tories.”

The SNP has been much more pragmatic. Consider its response, also on Newsnight:

Here are the simple facts:

And this is the dilemma for people like the Lib Dems (and the Change UK mob, whatever they’re calling themselves now):

Yes indeed – and the Lib Dems’ priorities will be plain to see, as a result of Mr Corbyn’s letter:

As Owen Jones stated: “Labour won 40% of the vote two years ago, nearly the same vote share as the government; its leader is twice elected. A temporary government should be led by the politician with the biggest democratic mandate. Do you oppose Corbyn as PM more than No Deal? Really?”

It should be worth reminding you that, if a “no deal” Brexit happens, the next thing Mr Johnson will do is sell off the NHS and abandon your rights as workers and as human beings, along with your consumer rights and environmental protections, in a trade deal with the United States that won’t bring any improvement to the UK economy for 15 long years, if at all. That is what Jo Swinson, Chuka Umunna and the other Liberal DemocRats are supporting.

Do you support that?

If not, you’d better do something about it.

I would suggest contacting your MP at your earliest opportunity and telling them you want them to support Mr Corbyn’s proposal – in the national interest.

You may need to contact them more than once as some MPs may be reluctant to change their own position. Make it clear that this is a matter on which they may lose their job in the future, if they don’t do the right thing.

Or would you rather sit this one out and let your country drift further into fascism?

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No confidence over ‘no deal’: The start of a Tory disintegration – or the end of UK democracy?

The Queen: Will she have to use her constitutional role to rid us of Boris Johnson, if he refuses to honour the threatened vote of ‘no confidence’ over his ‘no deal’ Brexit.

That didn’t take long! The Conservative Party appears to be falling apart over Boris Johnson’s plan for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Some are siding with Dominic Grieve and threatening to support Jeremy Corbyn in an early vote of ‘no confidence’ against Mr Johnson if ‘no deal’ seems the most likely outcome when Parliament re-convenes in September.

But Dominic Cummings, BoJob’s senior advisor, has apparently claimed that Mr Johnson will simply ignore the result of such a vote if it goes against him.

This is unconstitutional – dictatorial, in fact.

If a confidence vote goes against Mr Johnson, Parliament will have 14 days to form an alternative government, according to the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, with a cross-party “government of national unity” strongly suggested.

But Mr Cummings apparently reckons BoJob would call a general election, framing it in populist terms as being “people v politicians”.

He wants to put us on a slippery slide towards fascism, it seems.

One of the so-called 14 early warning signs of fascism is the identification of enemies as a unifying cause. In this case, with the enemies being politicians opposing Mr Johnson, it seems he would set us on a path to totalitarianism.

The obsession with Brexit would tick off another entry on that list – “powerful and continuing nationalism”.

It has been suggested that Mr Johnson would not be required to step down after losing a confidence vote, and the timetable of anything that follows would be set by him.

But others have claimed that refusal to honour the result of such a vote would require the Queen to step in and dispense of his services herself.

That would be ironic – a man who is asserting the ‘divine right of kings’ to do what he wants being removed by the person who actually has that right.

Source: Dominic Cummings takes swipe at Grieve over confidence vote plan | Politics | The Guardian

Constitutional crisis fear over ‘no deal’ Brexit

Boris Johnson: He has been accused of acting like a dictator.

Boris Johnson is being accused of provoking a constitutional crisis in the UK by threatening to act like a Stuart king of 320 years ago rather than a modern representative of the people.

Didn’t I suggest this would happen?

The claim is that he will try to ignore the will of Parliament if MPs make it clear that they will not accept a ‘no deal’ Brexit and try to enforce their decision with a vote of ‘no confidence’ in BoJob and his government.

But Mr Johnson’s most senior advisor, Dominic Cummings, has reportedly said that the prime minister would respond by calling a general election for November, ensuring that Parliament will not be sitting on October 31 and will have to allow the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal as to what happens after.

In essence, he would declare that if the current Parliament won’t support him, he’ll simply arrange to have a new one.

BoJob was accused of behaving like Charles I, the Stuart king who asserted his divine right to rule in the face of Parliamentary opposition – and lost his head as a result, after the Civil War.

Would Boris Johnson risk another civil war, or at least severe civil unrest, over Brexit? Yes – This Writer believes he would.

He sees a profit for himself, in the same way Crispin Odey does, who invested £300 million in betting on major UK firms crashing on the stock market after a Johnson ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Nobody else matters to Mr Johnson. He will use every means at his disposal to suppress anyone who tries to stymie his ambition.

Source: Brexit: UK faces ‘full blown constitutional crisis’ if no deal forced through | The Independent

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