UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The long-running British Brexit saga provoked a new debate: does Prime Minister Boris Johnson have a tricky plan to reach a new, improved agreement on leaving the EU, or is he simply dragging Britain to a cliff of exit without an agreement?
The Scottish High Court ruled that Johnson’s suspension of parliament was unlawful and the House of Commons forced him to publish a document under the loud title Operation Yellowhammer (the yellow hammer is the name for the English Bunting Bird), which contains a highly defamatory official assessment of the catastrophic EU output without the effects of the agreement.
The new discord in the Conservative party, including the exclusion of 21 deputies who opposed Johnson’s approach to the issue of Brexit seems, will have a historical village COROLLARY, wrote in his column on the Project Syndicate, former Government Minister Mark Malloch Brown.
Meanwhile, the UK Supreme Court is preparing to adjudicate several lawsuits filed against the Johnson government, and therefore found itself embroiled in the same political role that is characteristic of its American counterpart. On the one hand, this may alarm the British. But on the other, there will be a feeling of deep relief: despite the current attack on the uncodified Constitution of Britain, at least there are just-minded judges who are ready to stand up for it.
These new places for debate came along with nightmares in the House of Commons on the eve of the hasty closure of parliament on September 9th. In those surrealist hours when House of Lords (usually very sedate) overcame the rare attempt to delay the work of government loyalists, I met with my colleague, peer Michael Dobbs, the author of The House of Cards. We compared his writings with a reality in which political intrigues so surpassed fiction. The main villain of his novels – Prime Minister Francis Urkhart (in the American television series he was US President Frank Underwood) – looks like a sober and respectable politician in comparison with many of Britain’s current political leaders.
The question now, of course, is whether Johnson has any plan (or at least a compass) to find a path in the chaos that he helped create. The quality of the guesswork depends on the person’s position and how he is used to perceiving uncertainty. Rationalists in the political and financial risk assessment business seem to think that Johnson has a plan. Having exhausted his opponents and throwing the country into chaos, at the last minute he will bounce back to the center and form a coalition of delighted Tories and Labor in support of a modified version of the same agreement that was proposed by former Prime Minister Theresa May and was three times rejected by parliament.
In this scenario, Johnson may lose part of his right flank (the European Studies Group, abbreviated ERG), but will receive the support of a sufficient number of Labor deputies and Tory rebels. At this moment, everyone will feel relief, because, finally, it will be possible to avoid a sudden and hard gap in the EU. The main problem for Johnson will be finding a way to save face in the matter of the so-called “Irish clause” (backstop). And he, apparently, is ready to consider the idea of a common Irish market (at least for agricultural products), provided that the agreed text will in no way be an admission that Northern Ireland remains in the common EU market.
However, deputies and all kinds of commentators think differently. Most see in Johnson not a man who has a plan, but a clumsy elephant in a Westminster china shop. He himself closed the path to compromise, ignores the decisions of parliament and quickly rushes either to exit without an agreement or to the fall of his own government. His only lifeboat (unless, of course, he manages to get to it) is the general election, which he will try to present as a “people against parliament” battle.
Most likely, even Johnson himself does not know how this will all end. His initial storm of arrogant boasting has now weakened thanks to the actions of political opponents. And his “concealer” Dominic Cummings has become a constant topic of discussion in the media, which gladly portray him as Rasputin at Johnson’s court. Reality surpasses fiction again: the real Cummings turned out to be even more demonic than in its artistic version – in the film Brexit: Civil War, which Channel Four and HBO released in 2019 and where Benedict Cumberbatch played the role of Cummings.
The financial and political classes believe in the rationality of decision-making processes, because that is how they themselves act. And politicians usually rely on the power of emotions and instincts (and now more than ever). If Johnson has no plan, he is in good company. The laborers themselves tied themselves in a knot, promising to hold new negotiations on an improved exit agreement, although their best leaders are ready to campaign against this agreement (and to remain in the EU) in the event of a new referendum. At Westminster, mind is not the most welcome guest.
However, whether Johnson has a plan or not, such balancing is on the verge, moreover, by all parties, can help conclude an agreement. Like tired wrestlers, warring factions can support each other, just to stay on their feet. This, of course, will lead to a terrible agreement. It should be hastily prepared for the meeting of the European Council on October 17, where European leaders demonstrate growing dissatisfaction with the whole process. In addition, Johnson has already dispersed a team of civil servants who conducted previous negotiations. Any new agreement will be May’s old agreement with a couple of bows. And this show will last for many more years.
Great Britain pulled itself into a frenzy, and therefore rational decision-making about the future has become completely impossible. Even if rational people are right and a new agreement appears, it will not appear for some rational reasons. For better or (much more) worse, but the Brexit virus continues to brutally torment the body of the British state. And the new deal will be a placebo, not a healing medicine.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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