It has been very difficult to get the timing right for this report in the constantly shifting political landscape Brexit has created. However, as it stands today, the nation is now hurtling towards a General Election on December 12th 2019, when it will be anyone’s guess as to what the people decide. Rarely in the course of British history has a General Election been based on such a binary decision as we find ourselves having to make: whether to leave or remain.
It all boils down to three choices:
• Vote Tory for Brexit
• Vote Lib Dem to revoke Article 50 and call it off
• Vote Labour for another referendum
In other words, we have a party to cater for the leavers, remainers and the don’t-knowers too. What other policies they may include in their manifesto is largely by-the-by which directly threatens our democracy. (Author’s note: I personally rue the passing of Screaming Lord Sutch as his Monster Raving Loony Party would definitely get my vote!) Jeremy Corbyn finally put himself behind a cohesive Labour party message, rallying the troops for an election campaign on the basis that a “no-deal Brexit” was taken off the table. However, there is still potential for a clean break from the EU if the Tories win the election and honour their pledge to “Get Brexit Done”. In essence, this is the current state of play at the time of writing at the end of October
and there shouldn’t be anything altering the latest Brexit timeline until after December 12th. Just don’t hold us to that! Shouldn’t Boris Johnson be “Dead in a Ditch”? The announcement of a General Election came at a very opportune moment for Boris Johnson as he faced having to eat his own rather sinister words. In a sometimes rambling speech at a police training college in West Yorkshire in September, our Prime Minister stated: “I’d rather be dead in a ditch than agree a Brexit extension”. On Monday 28th October, the EU announced its decision to grant a “flextension” to the 31st January 2020. In the rather irritating way of merging words together which has become habitual in the media, a “flextension” allows Britain to leave the EU before the January deadline in the (unlikely) event our parliament agrees to anything….anything at all.
Rather than picking up his shovel and getting to work on his ditch, Boris Johnson was spared the embarrassment of his own making the following day, when the General Election was called. In fairness to the Prime Minister, he was always going to fall at the first obstacle thrown at him by an overwhelmingly “remain” parliament. That said, he has shown himself to be a man of empty and sometimes irresponsible rhetoric which may – or may not – harm his image ahead of the election.