Sputnik: Will Boris Johnson’s new cabinet be able to deliver Brexit by October the 31st?
Alistair Jones: Boris Johnson is certainly of the belief that his cabinet will do so, and if you look at the membership of the cabinet; all of them have committed themselves to accepting a no-deal Brexit by the 31st of October if a deal cannot be sorted, so they would expect that.
The problem is that the mathematics in parliament are actually worse for Boris Johnson than they were for Theresa May, so if he goes to the EU and gets some tweaks to her deal; he’s still got to get it through parliament, and the numbers just don’t stack up.
However; in Boris’s favour on this, we have a clear situation which says that if there is no extension, and if there is no revoking of Article Fifty, we leave on the 31st of October, so it’s a default position and on that position Boris is correct, yes we are going to leave.
Sputnik: Could Boris Johnson renege on his promise to leave the EU without a deal?
Alistair Jones: Boris is one of the biggest and most successful political opportunists in modern times. As to whether he will renege; he will find a way of presenting it as not being reneging, the one thing you’ve got to say about Boris Johnson is that he has a way with words, and he will tell us a fantastic story about how things have changed.
Having said that; the real hard-core extreme Brexiteers in the Tory Party will hold him to account, they are adamant that it’s got to be the 31st of October, otherwise he looks exactly like Theresa May with the 29th of March demand, so in that respect any sort of reneging is going to cause problems.
If for example, parliament was to vote to instruct Boris Johnson to revoke Article Fifty; which parliament could do, we would have a constitutional crisis because he would refuse to do that as his commitment to the Tory Party, was that they would leave on the 31st of October, so in that circumstance we will have a huge problem.
Whether parliament would go that far in September when we come back after the summer break goodness only knows, it’ll depend very much on what has happened with the possibility of renegotiations as small as it may be, and the more likely the government is going to be talking about Theresa May’s deal, and what will be tweaked, Boris will come up with a narrative one way or another
Sputnik: Could Boris Johnson lose a confidence vote should his Brexit plans go awry?
Alistair Jones: If there is a vote of confidence in Boris Johnson’s government over a no-deal Brexit; where he is saying that it’s a no-deal because he can’t do anything else, and the vote of confidence is moved, a number of Tory former cabinet members such as Philip Hammond, have intimated that they would vote against Boris, and they would have a general election called on that, they would rather do that than accept a no-deal Brexit, because of the harm they perceive is going to happen to the UK.
In this respect, Boris has got a huge problem. The numbers don’t add up to get any deal through parliament, and if he tries to push for a no-deal; the numbers are even more stacked against him to stop them from doing so.
It would lead to a motion of no confidence, which he would most likely lose even if all of the DUP were to vote with him, because having seen how he’s basically gutted the old cabinet and kicked out fifteen or sixteen former cabinet members, some of them who were actually very strongly for Brexit, such as Penny Mordaunt, she won’t vote against him in a vote of no confidence, but the likes of Philip Hammond, David Gauke and others just might.
Where things just get more complicated; is the number of Labour MPs that would vote to support Boris Johnson in a motion of no confidence to have a no-deal Brexit, there are three, four, maybe five of those, with Kate Hoey being the top of the list I would argued; she would probably support that because she wants a no-deal Brexit if that is all that is available, because that is better than not having Brexit.
The numbers will be phenomenally tight, but I suspect that Boris would probably lose and that therefore leads to a general election, and goodness knows who would win that; I suspect we’d end up with exactly the same situation of having a hung parliament with one of the two major parties, either Conservatives or Labour being the largest party, but neither being able to form a government outright.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.