Thursday 21 March 2019

Illuminated by Flashes of Artillery

As the inevitable constitutional crisis starts to develop in earnest and battle is joined, several intriguing possibilities emerge:  seen as it were in silhouette, against the backdrop of flashes of artillery as the night-attack commences.  Who knows what the details will be when sun rises over the battlefield? 
  • Tusk seems to be saying there will only be an extension if Parliament has first passed May's Deal.  Not sure if he has the authority to pronounce on that: but it'd be a pretty remarkable result for Selmayr/May (and would surely pass Bercow's test - if indeed that needs doing).  Almost as if there is some choreography ...
  • Could the EC really add further conditions to an extension?  Well of course they could in terms of their limitless willingness to play silly-buggers: but in practical terms if they chuck in too much by way of conditions (e.g. R2) they can't be at all sure what the response / outcome will be 
  • There is only one 'unilateral' action** left for anyone on the UK side to take: revocation of A50.  Contriving a vote on this must be seriously attractive for Bercow in his bid for posterity, and I guess it will happen in the remaining days before 29th March (pardon the pun)   
  • Knackered old Corbyn again pipes up with his plea for a GE.  I'd previously assumed there was no realistic chance of that.  But seeing Grieve in full spate yesterday (and what a piece of work he is) I start to think the latter might actually prefer Corbyn-as-PM to Brexit, and that a No Confidence vote might see some Tories on that side.  (Does Grieve know that Corbyn recently said he'd vote for Brexit + Customs Union?)  The thing is, I reckon there would be even more Labour MPs who see things the other way around
  • Just what is the state of readiness for a 29th March crashout?  On the UK side it is culpably poorer than it should have been (for which I blame Hammond as much as May): but it ain't zero.  There is an interesting possibility of crashout followed by Not Very Much, Initially - a phoney war, if you will, similar to 1939.  Rather like how nothing much happened the day after R1 (aside from Cameron quitting, of course).  And NVMI might have the effect of making some important players think: hmm, this No Deal isn't as bad as it's been painted.   Of course, it wouldn't guarantee the ship stayed on an even keel indefinitely.  And it may not even be NVMI at all.  But if it were ... it might change the political dynamics quite a lot.    
But, hey: flashes of artillery at night are not an ideal form of illumination.  Especially when the senses are reeling from the noise of it all.

** I feel I've read somewhere that even this comes with qualifications


Gladstone's bag said...

A GE is not a solution as you can't be certain of the mix (pro-/anti-) nor the make up of parliament.

It's hold you nose, breath and nuts - and go for the 29th.

It will be a minor inconvenience but we'll recover as we have done many times.

The big question is where to house May - House of Lords or Rampton?

Jan said...

............or a few cabinet members could take TM to one side and force her to resign (a la Maggie) then a proper Leaver could take up the reins and tell the EU were leaving on 29th March without their poxy deal.

CityUnslicker said...

Am watching from afar for the rest of this week. Dreadful show from all sides. May's deal will fold so it will be a face-off in parliament between revoke and hard Brexit next week. We all know where the numbers will go for that in the end.

Will be amazed if May is PM by Friday night after today. Hope she goes, it is the only thing that may stave off Revoke and Remain.

E-K said...

Revoke and Remain will be seen as responding to a mere petition to subvert a properly held democratic vote.

This is incendiary now. A bad move on the Luvvies' part. Then again they were too bottomlessly stupid to see their great contribution in causing Brexit and Trump.

Raedwald said...

In years to come, as they remove the statues of Churchill and Cromwell from around Parliament, just as those of Robert E Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson have been toppled in the US, we can tell our grandchildren how we fought and lost a battle for British independence that started in 1914 and ended in 2019 with defeat and rout.

Anonymous said...

Keeping on the military theme, I see the MoD has prepared a bunker for her in the event of a no-deal.

Wonder if they have supplied the other elements that go with a bunker?

E-K said...

A red telephone to Herr Juncker... from the bunker.

Nick Drew said...

One of those Downfall spoofs ...

(eh, Mr BQ?)

tolkein said...

7 days to go.

To avoid leaving on 29th Parliamentary legislation is required.

Can the Govt get that through the Commons now?