OH GOD IT JUST DOESN’T END.
Nope. Nope nope nope. Even I am so done with this now, and I write about Brexit for a living.
Don’t get me wrong, this week has been, yet again, utterly bizarre and totally bonkers, and absolute gold for politicos like me. I should be happy.
It’s been a week where Boris got his biggest win as Prime Minister, only to suffer his most damaging loss just fifteen minutes later.
Then, a day of relative calm. Anger, discussion, confusion, for sure. But calm.
And then yesterday. Boris laid down the gauntlet for a general election. In any sane time, this would mean we would, indeed, have a general election.
But, because of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, Corbyn doesn’t have to agree to it. He can just keep Johnson in purgatory, suspended in midair like a dollop of mayonnaise in an anti-gravity chamber.
Oh God, oh God, OH GOD.
Let’s review the week and see what on earth happens next.
Links in descriptions. Strap in.
Fresh off the back of the weekend where he asked the EU for an extension, despite telling the entire world he would rather “Die in a ditch” than do so, Boris had another nightmare to deal with.
The pint-sized Speaker of the House, John Bercow, refused to allow him a second meaningful vote on his new Brexit deal. This is because it went through unopposed after the Super Saturday/Pooper Crapperday debacle, so according to British constitutional law, he couldn’t bring it back.
And, to make things worse, Sir Oliver Letwin (aka Olly Bolly Letty Winz) had reversed Boris’ plan. The original plan was to pass a meaningful vote, giving him Parliamentary consent to his deal, and then pass the legislation. Vote on the sandwich, then rate the fillings.
Letwin, instead, opened up the sandwich to have all the fillings be approved first, before the overall sarnie could be given consent.
This was disastrous for Johnson.
But then, Tuesday wasn’t all doom and gloom for our beleaguered PM…
There were two votes on Tuesday – the first was the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, or WAB. This passed by 30 votes, which suggested that some form of consensus could be found for a Brexit deal.
It was not, and I cannot emphasise this e-sodding-nuff, Parliament giving its full consent to Johnson’s Brexit deal.
Not even remotely.
That being said, it was a huge win for Johnson. He’d managed to negotiate a deal, against all the odds, and had managed to get some form of support for it through Parliament (despite shafting the DUP, Debbie-Does-Dallas levels of hard).
It was short-lived, however. Just fifteen minutes later, Parliament voted against his plan to debate, scrutinise and pass the bill in just three days, because it was utterly mental. Most bills require weeks to scrutinise, and this is the most important in living memory.
So, the October 31st deadline finally died a sad, miserable death.
In a ditch, presumably.
As such, we were destined towards an extension to Article 50…
…But yet we had to wait as the heads of the EU’s 27 member-states deliberated as to how long that extension should be. Wednesday saw Johnson appear in a rare PMQs, looking every part the shifty, defensive Prime Minister he has come to be defined as.
It was just his second since taking office.
He and Corbyn had a meeting first thing in the morning, which unsurprisingly achieved the political equivalent of using a Henry Hoover to clean up Chernobyl. Jack all.
But still we waited on the EU to give us an answer…
Until Boris hit the button. Again. Johnson urged Corbyn to go for a general election. His ruse was to say that his deal could be scrutinised, but only if there is an election on December the 12th.
Now, with the EU expected to give us a longer extension, no-deal was off the table, right? This time, Corbyn couldn’t refuse the call to arms to take it back to the people, could he?
We still don’t know how long an extension the EU will grant us. We still don’t know if Johnson can be trusted. We still don’t know if Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party can collectively agree on anything more than, “Oooh, socialism, yey.”
Supposedly, the entire Labour Party is in fully-blown civil war as to what to do. Most know that a Corbyn-led party would be eviscerated at the polls, others think that they cannot be seen to shy away from the election they have promised.
It’s an absolute bloody nightmare. It really does look like Corbyn may not go for the election.
So where does that leave us? Johnson will be left dangling like the aforementioned levitating blancmange, and the EU might take one look at the whole situation and just think, “Zut alors, non.”
Johnson has also said that if there is no general election he’ll go on strike.
No, seriously. He’ll simply refuse to do any work, and repeat day after day that he wants an election.
While this seems petulant, to give the man some credit it would be extraordinarily amoral and, in my opinion, not even remotely in the spirit of democracy, if an election wasn’t called. Corbyn may not win it, but political gamesmanship is refusing to allow the people their say.
…Although the Conservatives have also refused to do that, so maybe they can both just piss off.
But what’s this? Olly Bolly Strikes, Yet Again?!
Rumours are coming out of Parliament that Olivier Letwinium might bring Theresa May’s deal back to Parliament in order to try to drive the process onward.
Yes, that deal. The one that I described as dead not once, not twice, but three times a few months ago. The zombie deal might shuffle its way back to our political discourse.
What an abject, miserable disaster our politics has become.
We await the verdict of the EU.
In the meantime, I’m going to drink a small sea of gin.