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  • Boris Johnson has taken the remarkable step

  • of announcing plans to suspend parliament for five weeks

  • in order to limit the time that opponents of his Brexit

  • strategy have to frustrate him.

  • The announcement has provoked an extraordinary reaction

  • from Boris Johnson's opponents.

  • The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow,

  • has called it a constitutional outrage.

  • Many of the opponents of Brexit have also done the same thing.

  • They see this as a deliberate strategy to run down the clock

  • and prevent parliament from asserting its will in blocking

  • a no-deal Brexit.

  • Why is he doing this now?

  • There are a couple of reasons.

  • The first is that he senses weakness among his opponents.

  • It's clear that there isn't a majority

  • not only for bringing him down, but also

  • for putting in place a caretaker government, which

  • would ask for a Brexit extension and seek an election.

  • That's the only surefire way to stop this government.

  • He also thinks that Remain is divided

  • in their other strategies.

  • They're looking for a legislative approach

  • to outlaw the idea of a no-deal Brexit,

  • and Boris Johnson still thinks he can work around that.

  • He also thinks that perhaps a people versus parliament

  • election, where he proclaims himself

  • as upholding the will of the people and goes in a dash

  • to the polls, could work to his advantage.

  • Finally, he also wants to show the European Union

  • that there is no parliamentary rescue squad coming to stop

  • him doing what he intends.

  • All things considered, he is raising the stakes enormously

  • and saying to people, if you want to stop me

  • you're going to have to destroy my government

  • and you're going to have to do it quickly.

  • What this means is that there will be absolutely ferocious

  • fighting when parliament returns next week.

  • MPs are going to have to work flat out to devise a strategy

  • to frustrate this government or face up

  • to the unpalatable reality for some of them

  • that they have to bring Boris Johnson down and put somebody

  • else, probably Jeremy Corbyn, in place for at least a very brief

  • period.

  • His opponents are trying to work out their strategy now.

  • They still think the legislative approach is the right one,

  • but they've now got far fewer days in which to act,

  • unless they can change the rules and get

  • more time in parliament.

  • It's clear they have the speaker onside,

  • but they've got to coalesce around a strategy that works.

  • What Boris Johnson is doing is legal,

  • but it carries very severe dangers.

  • The principle of suspending parliament so that you cannot

  • be frustrated by a majority of MPs may sound like a good idea

  • when you're in government.

  • It's not something you'd find very attractive if you

  • were in opposition and it was being done to you.

  • And let's not forget, this is an unelected leader

  • of a minority government.

  • The bottom line, however, is this:

  • Remainers and opponents of no-deal

  • have often talked about being prepared to do whatever it

  • takes to stop a no-deal Brexit.

  • What Boris Johnson is showing by this gambit

  • is that he also is prepared to do whatever

  • it takes to get his policy through,

  • and he is daring his opponents to live up

  • to their own rhetoric to stop him.

Boris Johnson has taken the remarkable step

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Brexit: Boris Johnson's plan to suspend parliament explained | FT

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/27
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