Brexit: stormy week expected in Parliament, Boris Johnson hardens his tone
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has threatened to exclude members of his conservative camp who are trying to block an exit without agreement from the European Union, hardening the tone on the eve of a return to parliament that promises to be eventful.
L es deputies resumed Tuesday the way the House of Commons, where they serve only a few days before a suspension of Parliament next week and until October 14, two weeks of Brexit on 31 October.
The suspension, announced last week by Boris Johnson to allow him to present a new domestic policy program, has provoked a wave of indignation from the opponents of a “no deal” who see it as an attempt to gag them .
They will try to legislate urgently to prevent an exit from the EU without a net.
To deter conservatives tempted to vote with the opposition, Boris Johnson warned that they would be expelled from the party, a threat to the front page of several daily newspapers on Monday.
“The Prime Minister warns the rebel deputies:” Support me or take the door “”, headlined the conservative daily The Daily Telegraph . The left-wing daily The Guardian noted that “Johnson is willing to sacrifice his majority” to the one-sided Parliament, with the support of the small Northern Ireland Unionist Party DUP.
This threat fueled speculation about the imminence of early parliamentary elections.
“I think their strategy is to lose this week and then call a parliamentary election by eliminating those of us who are not against Brexit, not against leaving the European Union, but who think we should go with an agreement, “former Justice Minister David Gauke, one of the anti-no-deal conservatives, told the BBC Monday morning.
Former Finance Minister Philip Hammond, who is in favor of maintaining close ties with the EU after Brexit, has meanwhile called on Twitter “hypocritical” to punish the rebels, pointing out that eight members of the current government had challenged party instructions.
At the edge of the “precipice”
Evidence that tensions are at their peak, a meeting scheduled Monday between Johnson and Tories rebels was canceled at the last minute.
For his part, the leader of Labor, the main opposition party, Jeremy Corbyn, Monday gathered his ghost office in Salford (north-west).
“We are working with other parties to do all that is necessary to move our country away from the precipice,” said Corbyn according to an excerpt from his speech delivered by his services. Among the measures envisaged, the Labor opposition is considering a motion of censure against the government.
Boris Johnson, who came to power at the end of July, promised to remove the United Kingdom from the European bloc at any cost on October 31, whether or not a compromise was reached with Brussels, in order to respect the will of the British who chose the Brexit at 52% in a referendum in 2016.
With its determination, the government has launched this weekend a vast information campaign encouraging businesses and individuals to “prepare for Brexit”.
For the government, being firm on the release date is the best way to get an agreement with the EU. However, EU negotiator Michel Barnier again ruled Sunday to renegotiate the divorce agreement with the UK.
Boris Johnson wants to offload this text concluded by the former head of government Theresa May with the EU, and rejected three times by the British Parliament, the Irish safety net (or “backstop”) to prevent the return to a border between the British Province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This provision provides that, for lack of a better solution after a transitional period, the entire United Kingdom remains in a “customs union” with the EU.
But according to the Guardian , the government has no practical alternative to the “backstop”.
In addition to Parliament, the battle against the “no deal” will also be played out this week in the courts.
On Tuesday, Scotland’s highest civilian body will consider a request from pro-EU MPs to counter the suspension. A lawsuit filed by anti-Brexit activist Gina Miller, joined by former Conservative Prime Minister John Major, she will be discussed Thursday in London.
Protests are also expected after thousands of Britons protested Saturday against Boris Johnson’s “coup d’etat”.