You may be feeling more than a touch of déjà vu but it looks like we will be going to the wire again in October, when another round in the struggle for power between Parliament and government over Brexit is likely to take place. Again people are asking whether and how Parliament can stop Johnson pushing through a No Deal Brexit. The Tories appear to be leaving the crowning of the heir-apparent, Johnson, till just before Parliament rises for the summer recess, in turn leaving him to attempt a re-negotiation that the EU have already refused. Thus it will be in September and more likely October that attempts, if any, will be made to stop him.
Options abound, including a refusal to vote money for the government and creative devices by the activitist Speaker Bercow to enable blocking motions, but the most likely is that there will be a Vote of No Confidence (VNC). All eyes are on the Tory Remainers, some of whom have said that some colleagues would be willing to vote to bring down their government but seem curiously reticent about their own intentions. This should be no surprise when we are still in the midst of a leadership contest. Yet one must wonder whether such moderates will have the courage to come out and commit. Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve can’t do it on their own. They need at least a dozen more, and that’s still leaving it tight, too tight for comfort?
The Labour Party continue to pull in various directions at once as the pro-Remain majority of the party scream at the close cabal around JC to budge from what must be an incredibly uncomfortable fence and support Ref2. Increasingly the accusation is made that the leadership are colluding in a No Deal Brexit.
At the same time Liberal Democrats talk of a cross-party backbench alliance led by Cooper or Benn who could, assuming a successful VNC, form a short-term National Government to steer through a Second Referendum and then dissolve Parliament for a general election.
It is an Anti-Brexit Alliance that is needed, both in Parliament and electorally, and it makes sense if the polls hold true, a big “if” of course, and there is indeed a Remain opportunity at the ballot boxes.
So, while all eyes appear to be on the very scary prospect of a Johnson government, and rumblings of further business horror can be heard, let us not forget that this cross-party alliance, which was active earlier in the year, and if it can get its act together, is what could still stand in the way of leaping off the cliff into the chaos and sheer economic suicide of No Deal.
To read more about the options available, to Parliament and to the Government, click here.
To read a news article on the subject, click here