Boris Johnson Wants Brexit at Any cost
Whatever Brexit might ultimately bring, there are many images through This particular week of which will stick in our memories for a long time. We won’t forget, for example, of which Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, was expelled through the Conservative Party after 36 years of service, giving a passionate speech describing the injustices visited upon his grandfather before the latter’s rise to the top.
of which a pale Philip Hammond, former Chancellor of the Exchequer in addition to also the very definition of a loyal party soldier, threatened Johnson with the “fight of a lifetime” should the prime minister attempt to block his re-election if completely new elections are called.
of which Phillip Lee, a former parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, crossed the aisle in parliament in addition to also defected to the Liberal Democrats as Johnson looked on.
in addition to also then there is actually Jacob Rees-Mogg, the member of Johnson’s cabinet responsible for parliamentary affairs, who stretched out for a siesta on the government front bench in his ill-fitting double-breasted suit. He even closed his eyes, no doubt to express his disdain for the endless jawing in addition to also inconvenient democratic blah blah. Even as his party was disintegrating, Rees-Mogg took a nap.
The image of Rees-Mogg lying there on the green bench on Tuesday evening quickly became symbolic of the drama playing out in London. Just a few hours later, Prime Minister Boris Johnson threw almost two dozen of the most respected in addition to also distinguished Tories out of the party because they had dared to remind him of the rules of democracy. in addition to also here was his most loyal lackey Rees-Mogg, the 50-year-old multi-millionaire in addition to also leading EU-hater, mocking not just his erstwhile party allies, however the institution of parliament itself.
Johnson in addition to also his acolytes had decided of which parliament wasn’t particularly necessary for the time being. The completely new prime minister figured of which his determination, combined with the passion of his followers, might be sufficient to make the country “the greatest place on earth.” Outside of Westminster, Johnson’s cheerleaders held up signs with slogans like “Parliament Traitors.” Such are the sentiments Johnson has invoked, in addition to also they are omens of what may lie ahead.
Hour by hour, Britain’s politicians are digging themselves deeper in addition to also deeper into a trench of which at This particular point crisscrosses almost all the country’s political parties. in addition to also the item has become almost impossible to predict who will be left standing once This particular nasty battle has come to an end. the item is actually a fight of which will likely result from the most hate-filled campaign in addition to also shoddiest election the country has seen in a long, long time.
The situation has become so dramatic of which the item is actually easy to forget what the item is actually all about — whether UK dares to leave the European Union on October 31 without a deal, as Boris Johnson apparently wants. British lawmakers did manage to put on the emergency brakes This particular week in a parliamentary show of force. The British lower house has also made the chaotic divorce through the EU a bit less likely. What, though, happens next?
A Group of Zealots
With his ruthless onslaught, Boris Johnson — the United Kingdom’s 77th prime minister — has deeply divided one of Europe’s oldest in addition to also most honorable political parties. So deeply, in fact, of which the item is actually completely unclear when in addition to also how the item might be able to recover.
The internal party battle over the country’s relationship to Europe has almost completely destroyed the Tories. The party of Margaret Thatcher, of Harold Macmillans, of Winston Churchill — who Boris Johnson seeks to emulate, at least on the surface — no longer truly exists in its traditional form. Some of the biggest Tory names who have shaped the party for decades were unceremoniously thrown out of the party — people like Kenneth Clarke, who served in several Conservative cabinets, as well as 13 additional ex-ministers in addition to also former state secretaries.
A group of zealots remains, led by Boris Johnson. in addition to also their language in addition to also behavior are astonishingly similar to those of additional authoritative populists, such as those from the U.S., Italy, Poland, Hungary in addition to also elsewhere. This particular time, though, the item is actually the self-proclaimed homeland of modern democracy of which is actually being dismantled by skeptics of democracy who simultaneously claim to be the only true democrats. They want to disable parliament so they can push through the results of a referendum of which was so vaguely worded nobody truly knows what kind of Brexit the British actually want. A no-deal Brexit, at least, was not one of the options.
Under the pretext of enacting the will of the people, the “mother of parliaments” is actually being abused by some of its own children. in addition to also nobody knows who or what else these Conservatives might be willing to destroy to get what they want — namely the freedom of their country, or whatever might soon remain of the item, through the “yoke” of the European Union.
This particular group represents a form of English nationalism of which threatens the unity of the country, strengthening not just the Scottish independence movement however also the Northern Irish Republicans’ dreams of reunification. Several weeks ago, Gordon Brown — a Scot in addition to also the last Labour prime minister — said of which Boris Johnson could very well be the United Kingdom’s last prime minister.
The most recent in addition to also, thus far, most heavy-handed move from the three-years-in addition to also-counting Brexit saga was introduced by the 55-year-old Johnson on the last Wednesday in August, when he announced of which he was planning to suspend parliament for all 5 weeks. Because the country was set to leave the EU on October 31, Johnson argued, the government needed time to work out its domestic agenda for the period following Brexit.
Not Exactly Truthful
of which justification, as has so often been the case from the life of Boris Johnson, was not exactly truthful. Parliamentarians immediately saw through the ruse, recognizing of which the prime minister was doing all he could to rob the lower house of any ability to stand from the way of his Brexit plans.
The prime minister’s fear of the 650-member parliament is actually well-founded. Johnson inherited a fragile coalition with the DUP, a Northern Irish nationalist party, through his predecessor Theresa May, in addition to also his majority when the item took office was just just one vote. May herself had presented the Brexit deal she had negotiated with Brussels to parliament on three occasions, in addition to also lost all three votes.
Two irreconcilable groups consistently stood in her way, groups of which completely disregarded traditional party loyalties. On the one hand were the EU supporters who ultimately wanted to prevent Brexit, in addition to also on the additional were the radical proponents of free-trade secretly working toward a no-deal departure through the EU.
RU / AFP
Jacob Rees-Mogg has been heavily criticized for his nap in parliament This particular week.
The greatest sacrilege from the eyes of the Brexit hardliners was the May-approved “backstop” for the border between Ireland in addition to also Northern Ireland, which will become the EU’s external border once Brexit is actually completed. The backstop foresees Northern Ireland remaining from the EU customs union in addition to also, to a certain extent, from the European Single Market until the United Kingdom can reach agreement on a free-trade deal with the remaining 27 EU member states. In order not to risk a return to the decades of civil conflict of which tore the region apart through the 1960s to the 1990s, London, Dublin in addition to also Brussels want to avoid the reintroduction of a hard border between Ireland in addition to also Northern Ireland at all costs.
Brexit hardliners, though, primarily see the backstop as a kind of continued vassalage to the EU in addition to also an attack on the UK’s unity. however many are at least as concerned of which such a solution could mean of which their dream of unfettered trade with the rest of the entire world may never come to pass.
Either way, Johnson, who twice voted against in addition to also once in favor of May’s divorce deal, was fully aware of the parliamentary obstacles of which stood in his way. Contrary to May, he thus chose to shun any attempt at compromise in addition to also joined the hardliners. He informed the EU of which he wouldn’t negotiate at all if Brussels continued to insist on the backstop in addition to also then tried to shut down his own parliament.
The result has been a political avalanche of which could ultimately bury him as well.
Just hours after Johnson’s announcement of which he intended to suspend — or prorogue — parliament for all 5 weeks, the resistance had already formed. A vast coalition of which included Labour, almost all additional parties from the lower house in addition to also several Tory rebels agreed to use the remaining days before prorogation to block Johnson’s move with emergency legislation.
The so-called “rebel alliance” figured of which if they were able to legally block Johnson through leading the UK out of the EU on October 31 with no deal, he might then have to go begging to Brussels for a three-month delay — despite his numerous pugnacious claims of which he might never do such a thing. The desire, of course, is actually of which he won’t be able to recover through such a humiliation.
Indeed, many in London, Brussels in addition to also additional European capitals suspect of which Johnson in addition to also his government, which consists almost exclusively of hardliners, actually favor a no-deal scenario. The prime minister may have been insisting for weeks of which the Brexit negotiations his team is actually conducting are going well in addition to also of which an acceptable deal with Brussels is actually “within grasp,” however Johnson in addition to also his cronies are the only ones who share such an assessment. In Brussels, nobody is actually aware of which any progress has been made at all.
During his visits to Berlin in addition to also Paris in late August, Johnson insisted of which his people had discovered completely new technical solutions for the Ireland-Northern Ireland border of which might make the backstop superfluous, adding of which these solutions were “readily available.” In response, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the British prime minister a tiny opening. If of which is actually the case, she said, then Johnson should present his proposal within 30 days in addition to also the item could then be discussed. however the item appears of which London hasn’t yet presented its backstop replacement in just one EU capital.
The closest thing to a border plan is actually an extensive collection of measures of which Johnson has recently been raving about. the item was developed by the think tank Prosperity UK with the help of Johnson’s cronies in addition to also includes a border-control system made up of myriad individual elements, none of which have ever been tested at an actual border.
According to the document, “people in addition to also traders should be given the maximum possible choice of options.” Furthermore, “trusted traders” should be saved in a customized the item system in addition to also electronically transfer their customs fees. Checks for food in addition to also animal transports are to be carried out by “mobile units” away through the actual border while special rules are to be found for modest business traffic, such as plumbers in addition to also painters. For all others, “existing administrative techniques” will be used.
A Bureaucratic Nightmare
In short, the item is actually a bureaucratic nightmare of which might hardly be manageable or affordable for modest entrepreneurs, might leave plenty of room for abuse, might be essentially uncontrollable in addition to also, despite all the denials, might make physical border controls the rule rather than the exception.
Even the authors of the study admit of which their proposals could not be immediately applied. The system for “trusted traders” alone, they say, might take 12 to 15 months to introduce while additional measures “might take longer.” All in all, the many-layered program “can be implemented within two to three years.” Unfortunately, though, Halloween is actually in less than two months.
What, then, does Johnson actually want? Does he truly want to negotiate with the EU? Or does he just want to act like he does, watching all the while as the Brexit clock he has put on the mantle in Downing Street runs down to zero?
A rather sensational story from the pro-Brexit Daily Telegraph newspaper This particular week offers a clue as to Johnson’s true motives. According to the paper, Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings, the mastermind behind the successful Brexit campaign in 2016, admitted internally of which the negotiations with the EU were a “sham.”
In comments to DER NewsGerman, Cummings says the story was “100 percent not true.” Yet he in addition to also his boss have misled the public on Brexit so often of which few people might believe him, even if he were telling the truth in This particular case.
The gamblers in 10 Downing Street don’t seem to be particularly concerned about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. On the contrary. Even as British civil servants, the opposition, the Bank of England, the Confederation of British Industry in addition to also numerous additional organizations predict food shortages, border chaos, civil unrest, billions in losses in addition to also a possible recession, the prime minister in addition to also his government are deaf to the warnings. Britain, Johnson insists, can “easily cope” that has a no-deal exit in addition to also he has been wont to compare the first weeks following a departure that has a drive down a bumpy road — perhaps a bit uncomfortable, however nothing too challenging.
Just how broadly the denial of reality has taken hold from the Johnson cabinet was demonstrated This particular week by none additional than Jacob Rees-Mogg. The neurologist David Nicholl called in to Mogg’s weekly radio show, “Ring Rees-Mogg.” Nicholl had worked on the government’s no-deal emergency plan, referred to as “Yellowhammer.”
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn declined to accept Johnson’s offer of completely new elections.
Nicholl said of which a no-deal exit through the EU could result in massive shortages of medicines leading to fatalities in addition to also asked Rees-Mogg how many deaths he felt might be acceptable. “I’m surprised of which a doctor in your position might be fearmongering in This particular way on public radio,” Rees-Mogg replied. Referring to the emergency plan, Nicholl responded: “Can I remind you I wrote the plans of mitigation?” To which, Rees-Mogg snapped: “Well, you didn’t write very Great plans …. the item’s fortunate they are being written by additional people at This particular point who are serious about mitigating, rather than remoaners.”
Rees-Mogg has since apologized, however the mixture of condescension in addition to also feigned insouciance is actually symptomatic of the Johnson government, in addition to also the item has triggered panic among many parliamentarians, including some Tories. To prevent the worst before the planned prorogation of parliament, an informal coalition of lawmakers joined forces to take an unusual step. On Tuesday, they voted to take control over the parliamentary agenda as a way of essentially forbidding the no-deal exit through the EU on October 31. “Not the best start for you Boris, is actually the item?” one of the parliamentarians called out exuberantly.
‘Fortunes of War’
in addition to also the item is actually true of which the move put the prime minister in a tough spot. He has repeated over in addition to also over again of which “under no circumstances” might he ask the EU for an extension in addition to also of which his country might regain its so-called independence on Halloween no matter what. He threatened to immediately throw Tory rebels out of the party should they join the opposition.
however 21 Conservatives weren’t intimidated, leading to a painful defeat for Johnson. A short time later, Johnson made Great on his promise in addition to also excluded them through the party. “of which’s fortunes of war,” said Churchill’s grandson Soames.
Johnson’s move eliminated all remaining doubt of which he was prepared for a fight. in addition to also the very next day, he made an offer of which he hoped Jeremy Corbyn, head of the opposition Labour Party, might immediately accept: completely new elections on October 15, for which he needed a two-thirds parliamentary majority. Corbyn has been calling for completely new elections for three years, however This particular time, he didn’t accept Johnson’s offer.
After all, acceptance might essentially have meant the immediate dissolution of parliament — in addition to also the lawmakers are also fully aware of Johnson’s rather loose relationship with the truth. They were concerned of which once parliament had dissolved, Johnson could have found an excuse to delay completely new elections until after October 31, thus allowing him to campaign as the candidate who had successfully led the UK out of the EU. Johnson’s spokesman insisted of which of which was not the prime minister’s intention, however nobody believed him.
The result was of which Wednesday saw yet another defeat in parliament for the increasingly aggressive in addition to also agitated head of government. in addition to also the lawmakers then forced through the law of which might prohibit a no-deal Brexit. The opposition only intends to accept Johnson’s offer for completely new elections once of which law has been signed by the queen.
Some opposition politicians, however, have warned against accepting completely new elections before the EU has indicated of which the item might be prepared to Again delay the Brexit deadline. The EU vote, after all, must be unanimous, in addition to also not a few in London believe of which Johnson might be able to convince EU-skeptics such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to block a deadline extension. of which might mean of which Britain might leave the EU on October 31 as planned in addition to also there might be nothing of which parliament could do about the item.
Still, the item seems of which Boris Johnson, just a few weeks after taking office, has backed himself into a corner. He could, of course, at This particular point make a serious effort to negotiate a completely new deal with the EU by the middle of October. however nobody is actually clear how his completely new chief negotiator, David Frost, might be able to perform such a miracle. Furthermore, after the defection of Philip Lee in addition to also the expulsion of 21 Conservatives, Johnson at This particular point finds himself the leader of a minority government. in addition to also Labour leaders have already said they are going to make things hard for the prime minister.
the item could be, of course, of which Johnson was expecting the hurdles he is actually at This particular point facing in addition to also of which, should completely new elections be held in October, he will do all he can — even a bit of mudslinging, if necessary — to win them in addition to also, with his completely new majority, revoke the anti-no-deal law passed This particular week. Johnson has promised an end to the decade of austerity measures from the country in addition to 20,000 completely new police officers in addition to also billions in investment across the country. Indeed, he already held his first campaign speech on Thursday evening in West Yorkshire, where he spoke against a backdrop of dozens of police recruits. In his speech, he repeated his pledge of which he’d “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for a Brexit extension.
doing a Hero
The Conservative Party is actually currently from the lead in public opinion surveys, however in order to avoid losing numerous constituencies to the Brexit Party, under the leadership of Nigel Farage, he has no choice however to promise a no-deal Brexit. of which is actually the cost of a “non-aggression pact,” as Farage has said. A final, hard break with the EU, Farage said, is actually Johnson’s chance to go down in British history as a champion. in addition to also, he said: “We can make Boris a hero in of which situation.”
however if the elections were to take place later — in November for example, or even after of which — then Johnson might have broken his promise. Farage in addition to also his followers might be furious in addition to also might brand the Tories as traitors to their fatherland.
Johnson has already prepared himself due to This particular eventuality. He has repeatedly blasted the opposition in addition to also pro-EU lawmakers through his own party as “collaborators” in addition to also said their approach amounted to “surrender.” He has also repeatedly accused the European Union of stubbornness. In additional words, he has already identified the enemies he intends to campaign against. Me in addition to also patriotic Britons against the rest: of which will be his central message.
There is actually a surprising number of people from the country who support Johnson’s aggressive political style. According to surveys, a significant chunk of the population is actually in favor of a “strong leader willing to break the rules.” in addition to also the item seems safe to say of which Johnson will seek to inflame of which sentiment in addition to also the widespread anger from the country to a greater degree than almost any of his predecessors. in addition to also he will no doubt seek to emulate his completely new friend in Washington in doing so, a U.S. president who has already honored Johnson with the appellation “Britain Trump.”
The biggest question, though, will be who Boris Johnson plans to go into battle with in an attempt to avoid becoming the shortest-serving prime minister in British history. Even before he unceremoniously chucked out 21 Conservatives on Tuesday, he had already lost many prominent Tories.
A group of MPs led by former Industry Minister Anna Soubry joined with former Labour politicians months ago to create their own faction in parliament. Even Johnson’s own brother Jo stepped down on Thursday, saying he was “torn between family loyalty in addition to also the national interest.” Up north, meanwhile, Ruth Davidson — head of the Scottish Tories in addition to also a leading moderate voice — bowed out. She was considered to be something of a bulwark against the rejuvenated Scottish National Party, the leadership of which can hardly wait to take advantage of Johnson’s divisive rhetoric by holding yet another independence referendum.
Flight to the Fringe
the item is actually impossible to ignore the increasingly voluminous grumbling in Johnson’s party. More than 100 Tory MPs signed a letter condemning the expulsion of the “valued in addition to also principled” Conservative Party members as “wrong in principle” in addition to asking Johnson if he still accepted the full breadth of conservative views represented from the party. The fractures, they wrote, have spread across the country.
In London, though, the Tories are dominated by politicians for whom no cost is actually too steep for Brexit. The speed with which the remnants of the Conservative Party have moved to the right-wing populist fringe is actually astonishing. The party’s anti-EU wing, a minority not all of which long ago, is actually at This particular point mainstream. Kenneth Clarke, widely considered to be the best prime minister the UK has never had, said the Tories have become “the Brexit Party rebadged.” A party led by Johnson, who promised to unite his country in addition to also his party.
He only made the pledge a couple of weeks ago.
One of those who isn’t planning on supporting Johnson for the time being was having breakfast just a stone’s throw away through the House of Commons on Thursday morning. Dominic Grieve explains of which, as of yet, he hadn’t been kicked out. however his online access to the Conservative network, he says, has been blocked since Wednesday in addition to also he assumes of which Johnson’s people no longer see him as a Tory member.
Grieve once served as attorney general in addition to also has been an MP for 22 years — in addition to also he is actually the most unlikely rebel you’ll ever find. A master of British understatement, he has spent three years politely reminding the country of which the best deal of which the UK could ever have with the European Union is actually EU membership. of which view is actually the reason he in addition to also 20 of his like-minded party allies have at This particular point been shut out.
Grieve says his party has become dominated by ideologues in addition to also incorporates a leader has “no belief however self-belief.” He says he has thought about quitting, however adds of which the item was against his nature to simply leave right from the middle of what he saw as the greatest political crisis in British history.”
He says of which from the upcoming elections, he may campaign as an independent Conservative. the item is actually a scenario of which might have been unimaginable just a short time ago. however, Grieve adds, he in addition to also the additional rebels no longer have anything to lose.
He also has no idea how This particular will all end. however he does say of which completely new elections “might stir up the pot quite radically.” He doesn’t know, though, whether of which will be enough to break through the current Brexit impasse.
Grieve has to head off to continue organizing the resistance. There is actually only time for one last question. How do you feel. He thinks about the item for a moment. Tired, he says.