Brexit Gloves Come Off, Let the Massacre Begin Says Eurointelligence


Tory rebels are preparing emergency legislation to stop a No Deal Brexit. Such threats increase the odds of No Deal.

"Let the Massacre Begin" saysEurointelligence.

The gloves have come off on both sides. MPs are now plotting a strategy to take total control of the House of Commons, and anti-Brexit Lords have devised a strategy to frustrate a filibuster. The important question is not whether a legislative route is theoretically possible within the time limits - we think it probably is - but whether the rebels have the votes, and if they do, whether such legislation is effective. On the first, we don’t think they do. On the second, we are sure that it is not.

Time Limits

​Regarding time limits, Eurointelligence seems to have come around to my point of view that the real physical limit may be September 9.

Alternatively, both of us noted a chance of everything getting done precisely on September 3. That mathematical chance always existed.

Possibly we are discussing two different things depending on what Eurointelligence means by "legislation".

The point is moot because even if there is time and there is a sufficient number of votes, Eurointelligence has the view I have stated many times recently "we are sure" that it won't work.

Arm Twisting

There is a lot of arm-twisting going on in the background - coupled with the implicit threat that a vote in favour of anti-Brexit legislation would most likely trigger elections and the certain deselection of Tory rebels. Tories and Labour MPs are both aware that extension is not a popular option in the country. The April extension brought victory to Nigel Farage’s party in the European elections in May. If parliament votes in favour of a law to extend, it is possible that Johnson would then risk a pre-Brexit election, with the support of Corbyn. We think he will probably do at least as well as Theresa May did two years ago, but with MPs that are committed to his Brexit strategy.

Not Understanding the Law

The default legal position is that Brexit happens on October 31.

The UK cannot unilaterally change that even if Parliament passes a law declaring it illegal.

I have been amused from the beginning about such tactics, have frequently stated such laws are not binding. Eurointelligence comments similarly.

The Remainers’ biggest weakness is a lack of an overall strategy that extends beyond the narrow confines of the House of Commons and its ancient rules. The single biggest misunderstanding in the Brexit process relates to the nature of Art. 50, which is EU law, not UK law. We were reminded of this once again yesterday when we saw an article in Prospect magazine, which compared the five-week prorogation to Hitler’s Reichstag fire. Apart from the fact that it is never a good idea to make casual Hitler comparisons, the comparison reveals a lot about the author’s exaggerated views on the role of the parliament. Art. 50 gives parliaments two specific rights: ratify a withdrawal deal or revoke. Prorogation will not restrict the parliament’s ability to do either of those things.

Johnson could frustrate even a watertight extension bill by threatening to become a rogue member of the European Council, vetoing every decision that is put in front of him. If push comes to shove, the European Council is more likely to side with Johnson against the parliament, than vice versa, unless they have the confidence that the parliament can produce an alternative PM. This is why the rebels really need a new prime minister in place by end-October. Legislation to extend only works if there is at least some collusion from Number 10, as was the case with May. 

Three Part Scenario

Once again we return to the one and only scenario that has a chance:

  1. A motion of no confidence that succeeds
  2. Parliament agrees on an alternate caretaker PM
  3. Johnson goes along with it and resigns or loses a legal challenge if he doesn't.

Even then, there is a high likelihood that Johnson wins the ensuing election.


That margin would likely give Johnson a workable majority.

And I suspect that Johnson would cooperate with the Brexit Party for a huge majority unless Labour and the Liberal Democrats united.

The Brexiteers are united, but Labour wants a referendum for which there is little public support while the Liberal Democrats want to remain.

It's even a bit more complicated for Labour because Corbyn personally supports a customs union.

This is the huge problem for Labour at the moment.

We Have a Way

Boris Johnson made this claim today: "We Have a Way to Get Brexit Done".

  1. Boris Johnson has warned MPs that trying to block a no-deal Brexit makes that outcome more likely. Defending his decision to prorogue parliament he said: “The weird thing is, that the more the parliamentarians try to block the no-deal Brexit, the more likely it is that we’ll end up in that situation.”
  2. Johnson also claimed the government had found a way to get Brexit done. He said: “We are in the last stages now of negotiating with our friends about a way to get it done. If we can’t succeed in that negotiation we must come out anyway.”
  3. Ken Clarke has said he “probably would” back Jeremy Corbyn to be caretaker prime minister in order to block a no-deal Brexit. But he added: “I don’t think it’s going to happen, because I must be one of a tiny number of Tories prepared to contemplate that.
  4. Ireland’s deputy premier Simon Coveney insisted that any Brexit deal with the UK must be based on the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May.

Willing to Fall on Their Own Sword

Read point three carefully. It's a point I have made repeatedly.

Any Tory who votes against the government will be immediately outed from the party and lose their seat in the next election.

Point four ensures No Deal. I expect Ireland to cave, but I would rather they not.

If Ireland insists on keeping the backstop, there cannot be a deal and that is the best outcome for the UK other than a straight-forward Canada-style tariff deal.

Let's see how many Tories are willing to fall on their sword. Even a handful might be insufficient because a similar number of Labour MPs are hard Brexiteers.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (35)
No. 1-11

French want to extend Article 50 to take wind out of Johnssons sails, past Oct 31st.

What next?

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

I'll believe Brexit when it occurs ... and not a moment sooner.

Grexit failed ... when Tsipras holding 4 aces folded (any guesses the number of zeros behind the number wired to his swiss bank account?)

Plenty of time for hanky pany.


If the Brits, their leaders in particular, have any common sense left they should get rid of the sticky, undemocratic, totally worthless EU circus, asap, before EU sponsered msn brainwashes the herd even more ! NOBODY needs the EU apart from the corrupt nomenklatura it was created for , GET RID OF IT , for once and for all !


The British Press is rubbish at reporting how the EU is run. Qualified Majority Voting is the norm now so the prospect of Johnson running amok in Europe is ludicrous. On a more important matter if you think Johnson is clever or devious to run the risks he is running then you are off your head.


I vote to leave because I wouldn't want Brussels running my country, if I had one. But this has long passed the complexity level of my understanding. I'll wait for the movie.

Mish, I understand this is very important to you. Respectfully, may I ask why? I think I am missing something.


Like I wrote the other day, the Remain faction is getting close to taking extra-legal methods to stop Brexit altogether. When the present farcical stuff ends in Parliament in the 2nd week of September is the time to pay close attention- these people are willing to do anything to win- anything.


Thought experiment.

If Brexit deadline is met, post Oct 31st all parties except Tories will want to "return". They can be labelled "returners".

The "return" vote will be split - Lab, Lib-Dem etc.

The "no-return" vote will have to go to Tories as the only party to vote for as expect Brexit Party to join forces with Tories, especially in Labour heartlands where they might collaborate where Brexit Party stands a better chance.

If correct this will encourage Tories to want Oct 31st as final out date.

EU forcing Oct 31st is helping Johnson cement another outcome -Parliamentary control with pro Britain policies needed to thrive post-Brexit and incentivise competitiveness. What the EU dont want is a pro-Britain Gov with gloves off.

Hence Macron offer to extend Oct 31st deadline.


BooBoo is trading Little England's economic future for a longer stay in #10. No serious economist has said Brexit will be good for Little England, beyond allowing it to become a low tax, low regulation and low public service quasi-Third World nation. Even the ERG's pet economist says it will kill manufacturing. But Little Englandershave convinced themselves that, reality to the contrary, they reside in a global super-power, the one that won both world wars single-handedly. Simply following LEAVERs twists and spins on the future shows how out of touch with reality they are. From the easiest free trade deal ever because the EU needed the UK more than the other way around to free trade under the WTO's Article 24 to trade under the WTO being borderless ( just like,, according to their fantasies anyways under NAFTA)to the biggest free trade deal ever with tRump to a few mini trade deals with America next year but only if Little England lets the White house write its tax and foreign policies. And they see these as all brilliant ideas.


Mish, another thing to consider is in case of vote of no confidence - thanks to the fixed term parliament act, there are no rules on what happens in the 14 days after that. Essentially Boris Johnson could try himself to form another government in the 14 days; there is no law or precedence against that. Jeremy Corbyn cannot just show-up at the Queen palace and ask to become the next PM. Only after the 14 days and lack of vote of confidence then the PM (only Boris) must go to the Queen ask for a general election with a date of his choice. Is this case we are way beyond 31/10.


I suppose there could be a coup in the Privy Council to override BoJo, but that would indeed create a Constitutional Crisis. Like Nigel Farage, I am sceptical that Boris actually wants a No Deal Brexit; the curious thing why so many bright people are hyperventilating about what is Boris' and the UK's most effective negotiating tool. It seems the Brits have become the new cheese-eating surrender monkeys of the EU.


Today we found out how remainers are going to keep us in the EU.

Boris Johnson talks of leaving the EU with a Hard Brexit, but he is looking to me a remainer setting us all up for one great act of treachery. He has just indicated that there will be a general election on the 14th October.

I have always said that if there is an election before we leave, then we will never leave. There is room there for an openly remainer government to take over from the covertly remainer one we have now, and they can pretend to negotiate a leave deal or simply say that they have a mandate and forget about it.

Boris, by pretending to be leave, will split the vote for leave. Remain will act in concert and get a majority. And if Boris wins, he will carry out the act of betrayal himself.

The forces acting against the British people are incredibly strong. Shame that there are too many useful idiots who don't see what is going on and who will now help to destroy this nation.

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