Tag Archives: Withdrawal Bill

MPs reject Brexit bill timetable – they’re not worried about Johnson calling an election

Boris Johnson: He may have just realised he has miscalculated.

What did I tell you?

MPs have rejected a proposal to examine Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill in the Commons in three days.

The Commons supported the Withdrawal Agreement Bill earlier, but have now voted against the short timetable.

Earlier, the PM warned he would seek an election if MPs dismissed the plan and the EU granted an extension to 31 October Brexit deadline.

After the vote, he told the Commons he would “pause” the legislation until the EU had “stated their intentions”.

Source: MPs reject Brexit bill timetable – BBC News

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Johnson threatens election if he can’t rush through his Brexit bill. Good luck with that!

Boris Johnson: He’d stick his thumb up if he was on the Titanic and the iceberg had just hit.

Is anybody else starting to think that Boris Johnson really is stupid?

He has threatened to withdraw his Withdrawal Bill, after MPs spoke against his rushed timetable; he wanted Parliament to consider a Bill of more than 100 pages, plus extras, within just three days.

Instead, he said he would force a general election.

But there’s one problem – he would need the consent of Parliament to do this, and Parliament doesn’t want an election quite yet – if it is called before October 31, with no Brexit extension agreed, then the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

That’s what Boris Johnson wants, of course. But Parliament will block it as it is the will of Parliament that the UK will not leave the EU without a deal.

So this is an empty threat intended, it seems, to scare MPs into acting rashly rather than thinking matters through.

We’ll see what happens when the timetable is put to the vote this evening (October 22).

But expect yet another defeat for the prime minister who has never yet won a vote in Parliament.

Boris Johnson has threatened to pull the Brexit legislation and seek an election before Christmas if MPs vote to stop him rushing it through the House of Commons in three days.

Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, the prime minister said a vote against his timetable would delay Brexit for three months if the EU decided to grant the extension.

“I will in no way allow months more of this. If parliament refuses to allow Brexit to happen and instead gets its way and decides to delay everything until January or possibly longer, in no circumstances can the government continue with this. And with great regret, I must say the bill will have to be pulled and we will have to go forward to a general election,” he said.

A No 10 source highlighted the key caveat that the bill would be pulled only if the EU grants a three-month extension – the length of delay requested under the Benn act. It raises the possibility that Johnson could accept a shorter extension if one were to be offered by the EU.

Source: Johnson threatens to scrap Brexit bill and seek election before Christmas | Politics | The Guardian

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May’s new Brexit Bill: Nothing has changed

At long last Theresa May has brought her Brexit deal back to Parliament for a final rejection.

I didn’t know what to say about it when she unveiled it yesterday, because it has all been said already.

For those who don’t know, she summed up her offer as a 10-point plan:

“One – the government will seek to conclude alternative arrangements to replace the [Northern Ireland] backstop by December 2020, so that it never needs to be used.

“Two – a commitment that, should the backstop come into force, the government will ensure that Great Britain will stay aligned with Northern Ireland.

“Three – the negotiating objectives and final treaties for our future relationship with the EU will have to be approved by MPs.

“Four – a new workers’ rights bill that guarantees workers’ rights will be no less favourable than in the EU.

“Five – there will be no change in the level of environmental protection when we leave the EU.

“Six – the UK will seek as close to frictionless trade in goods with the EU as possible while outside the single market and ending free movement.

“Seven – we will keep up to date with EU rules for goods and agri-food products that are relevant to checks at border protecting the thousands of jobs that depend on just-in-time supply chains.

“Eight – the government will bring forward a customs compromise for MPs to decide on to break the deadlock.

“Nine – there will be a vote for MPs on whether the deal should be subject to a referendum.

“And ten – there will be a legal duty to secure changes to the political declaration to reflect this new deal.”

She said: “All of these commitments will be guaranteed in law – so they will endure at least for this parliament.” And nobody believed her.

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour cannot support the new Withdrawal Bill as it is a “rehash” of what has been brought before.

And Conservatives who supported her previous attempts have started bailing out because they don’t want another referendum.

Zac Goldsmith, whose campaign to become London Mayor was criticised for overt racism, described the new Bill as a “convoluted mess”.

He was joined in opposition to it by Robert Halfon, Andrew Percy, Maria Caulfield, David Davis, Iain Duncan Smith, Charlie Elphicke, Ben Bradley, Johnny Mercer, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Dominic Raab, Boris Johnson, Mark Francois, Beth Rigby… the European Research Group (ERG) is reportedly unanimous against it – already she cannot gain a majority for the Bill.

The promise on the NI “backstop” is empty. It seems clear that Mrs May – or her successor – will find alternative arrangements by 2020. This issue has been explored fully and as Labour’s Brexit spokesperson, Lisa Chambers, said, “If they existed, they would already be on the table.”

The DUP has said the possibility of an alternative is the only hope for a stable majority government to return to Westminster, making it clear that it will not support Mrs May until such an alternative hoves into view. So there will be no majority Conservative government for the foreseeable future.

In the light of the responses, it seems amazing that Mrs May is going ahead with this Bill. Perhaps there is simply no alternative for a prime minister who has spent three years mapping out her own downfall.

This is a Bill that might never make it to a Parliamentary vote.

It comes from a prime minister who, also, might never see another Parliamentary vote. Her time has run out.

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Brexit and the economy are inseparable and MPs are right to refuse ‘no deal’ while the cabinet splits

Imagine this container ship almost empty.
That would be what happens if Mrs May’s government remains divided over Brexit – with a knock-on, disastrous effect on the economy [Image: Reuters].

Cast your eyes over the following Twitter thread by Paul Mason:

With the above in mind, the following makes sense:

A powerful cross-party group of MPs is drawing up plans that would make it impossible for Theresa May to allow Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal in 2019. The move comes amid new warnings that a “cliff-edge” Brexit would be catastrophic for the economy.

One critical aim of the group – which includes the former Tory chancellor Kenneth Clarke and several Conservative ex-ministers, together with prominent Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat and Green MPs – is to give parliament the ability to veto, or prevent by other legal means, a “bad deal” or “no deal” outcome.

Concern over Brexit policy reached new heights this weekend after the prime minister told the House of Commons that her government was spending £250m on preparations for a possible “no deal” result because negotiations with Brussels had stalled.

(Source: MPs move to block Theresa May from signing ‘no deal’ Brexit)

The issue is that Theresa May’s cabinet has split and there is no clarity on the way forward. This leaves the UK looking weak to foreign leaders – and a bad investment to foreign businesses. They won’t want to locate here and they certainly won’t want to spend their money on our goods. And home-grown companies – with the wherewithal to do so – will leave

That would be disastrous for the UK’s economy – the money would simply dry up.

So MPs who have more than their own interests, or even those of the Conservative Party, at heart have drawn up amendments to the current EU Withdrawal Bill, in a bid to force a united position on weakling prime minister Theresa May’s cabinet of chaos.

The immediate result is that committee stage discussion of the Bill will be held back while representatives of each party try to work out a compromise version of it that a majority can support.

This may not be possible.

If not, then the minority Conservative government is facing a serious – if not fatal – crisis.

Brexit is the issue Theresa May demanded a mandate to handle, and she didn’t get it.

With Parliament deadlocked, it is looking increasingly likely that she will be unable to deliver any agreement.

In such a situation, it is not beyond possibility that we will find ourselves facing another election.

And all the while, the clock is ticking down to the deadline for our departure from the EU. These are dangerous times – and our future is in the hands of fools.


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