Pessimists think that there is nothing now that can prevent a determined UK PM taking Britain out of the EU with or without a deal. Optimists however think that he can be stopped and that saner counsel will prevail. Those concerned about what is going to happen fluctuate almost daily between these emotional poles. For those more inclined to the “glass half full” outlook on life may be feeling more supported by UK MPs who have been researching the constitutional options available with the aid of the House of Commons Library and have identified that it is not possible for a kamikaze Boris Johnson (BJ) to go full tilt for No-Deal Brexit without Parliament’s approval.
Necessary Brexit legislation can be amended by No Deal opponents
According to the shadow Brexit Minister, Keir Starmer, MPs still are bound to have to have a say in an No-Deal Brexit since even a No-Deal Brexit requires legislation to cover a whole raft of measures the government will need to pass to manage the process. Therefore opponents of No-Deal Brexit will have opportunities to amend the legislation, which can include banning a No-Deal Brexit or even withdrawal of the Article 50 notification of departure.
BJ has recently been expounding what his opponents would call a cakist argument that it would be possible for Britain to implement the bits of the Withdrawal Agreement they found acceptable while not having those they dislike, such as the Irish backstop. Anybody with a fraction of an ear open to statements by the EU would know that such “cherry-picking” is a total non-starter.
So as we continue to go through this phoney war period before the new Battle for Britain, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are still many constitutional avenues still left for those opposed to the path being adopted by the Tory leadership contenders (I take the line that prorogation is unconstitutional) and that when we, hopefully, wake up from the slumber induced by more of the Tory party arguing with themselves as ever, a massive campaign will be needed to support those that want to pull the UK back from the brink and allow some version of sanity to resume.
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