It’s going to be a nightmare week of horrors for Boris and his botched Brexit plans. There will be no treats for him, or us this week. And he’ll try playing several tricks, which are doomed to fail.
Brexit clearly will not happen on 31st October, in spite of Bonking Boris saying it will definitely happen and if it doesn’t he’ll be dead in a ditch. What is guaranteed is that on 1st November, when Brexit hasn’t occurred, the radio and TV stations will be playing clip after clip after clip of Boris saying that Brexit would definitely happen on 31st October.
You only have to remember Theresa May’s failed attempt at Brexit in March. She repeatedly said that it would definitely happen back then. It didn’t, of course, and the media just loved playing her saying Brexit would take place – over 130 times apparently. It’s therefore obvious that we’re all in for a Halloween treat of seeing Boris similarly humiliated.
Given that Brexit is not going to happen this week, it’s worthwhile pausing to see where Boris has got us. His Cabinet colleagues have been out in force this week saying he managed to get the EU to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, which they said they would not do. Those colleagues have also said that he got rid of the backstop, which the EU had previously said was a requirement. Boris has been touted as the hero. I suspect there is a saying in Cabinet, “Never let the facts get in the way of explaining things.”
The fact is, all that has happened is that 5% of the wording of the Withdrawal Agreement has been altered to allow for the removal of the word “backstop”. The backstop would have inserted a border down the Irish Sea in two years’ time. Boris’s “wonderful” renegotiation has inserted that border straight away. Well done Boris.
At the same time as saying this is a masterstroke in negotiating, the Cabinet is saying that he has managed to get Parliament to agree to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which they had been opposing for three years. But that, again, is simply not true. The Withdrawal Agreement has indeed been rejected four times by Parliament, including a couple of weeks ago.
What Parliament has never seen in the past three and a bit years is the Bill which got a majority this past week. That Bill could have been put before Parliament three years ago, but the Tory party managers decided not to do it. Why? Because it is the Bill that actually determines the future relationship with the EU and it can be amended. The Withdrawal Bill itself, which has been voted down four times, isn’t like that. The reason this new Bill got a majority is so that MPs can amend it.
Boris has removed that Bill from scrutiny now, because he knows there are considerable flaws with it and Parliament will change it, even use it to prevent Brexit from happening at all. However, he can use the vote in favour to suggest he has achieved something that has been blocked for three years. Again, that is not true because they have never seen this detailed Bill before in Parliament.
So, what does all this add up to? Well, Boris said he would definitely get us out of the EU by 31st October (he won’t). He said he would get the EU to renegotiate (he hasn’t). He said he would never accept a border down the Irish sea (he has). He said he would never accept the Withdrawal Agreement (he has). He said he never had an affair with an American businesswoman or give her public money (he ?????).
To help us forgot this horrible history of his tenure as PM, Boris now wants us to have a General Election just a couple of week before Christmas. This is so that he can put the focus on the opposition for being lily-livered in not wanting one. But there is a huge gap which needs filling. The Withdrawal Agreement and the new 110-page Bill that Parliament accepted for a second reading both allow a “no-deal” Brexit. If in the next 14 months there is no trade deal, for instance, then we crash out.
That’s what is frightening many MPs. Until that legislation is altered, then no-deal is possible. But Boris has denied debate about that Bill. A General Election would, he hopes, provide him with a majority to reduce alterations to that Bill, allowing him to take us out of the EU without any kind of agreement at the end of next year. That’s why the opposition doesn’t want a general election because they know with Confused Corbyn in charge they have no hope of winning.
Meanwhile, over in Brussels, they are wondering what to do. I suspect privately they know what they would like to do to Boris…! The betting is that they will give us to end of January 2020, but will allow us to leave earlier if Parliament can agree.
Parliament cannot agree. So we’ll have more bluster from Boris, more confusion from Corbyn and more lies and nonsense from many MPs, some of whom clearly do not know what they are talking about. After all, this week we witnessed the Brexit Secretary quizzed in committee about part of the arrangements for Northern Ireland, only to discover he had no idea what he was talking about and had to correct his statement within minutes of making it. In other words, the man arranging Brexit doesn’t know what’s happening.
And that’s clear as you drive around the UK’s roads. As you travel North up the M6 and M1 you can see signs telling you about the need for new travel documents when going to the EU after 31st October. Doesn’t the Government know that the EU is in the opposite direction when you are travelling North in the UK? It’s just more evidence of the nightmare we are enduring as we head towards Halloween.