Johnson Has the Votes, Will Deliver Brexit Saturday


A constitutional challenge to Johnson's Brexit deal has been tossed by the courts and Johnson believes he has the votes.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said he is ‘Very Confident’ his Brexit deal will pass the House of Commons vote on Saturday.

But what about the constitutional challenge?

Scottish anti-Brexit campaigner Jolyon Maugham believes that the deal contravenes s55 of the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018, which states that it is “unlawful for Her Majesty’s government to enter into arrangements under which Northern Ireland forms part of a separate customs territory to Great Britain”.

Constitutional Challenge Rejected

Surprise, surprise, the High Court in Edinburgh rejected the appeal.

Let's pick up the discussion on the Guardian Live Blog.

Lord Pentland, who heard submissions on Friday morning and delivered his ruling at 5pm the same day, said Maugham’s argument was “weak”, adding that his petition was “of doubtful competency”. In his ruling, Pentland said:

It is a cardinal principle of constitutional law that the courts should not intrude on the legitimate affairs and processes of parliament.

I believe this should have been obvious. Effectively, Maugham was asking that law never be changed.

Hammond to Vote No

Meanwhile, former chancellor Phillip Hammond says he will only vote for deal if PM rules out no deal at end of transition.

This is asininity at its finest.

The deal allows for trade negotiation at the end of one year. It would be downright idiotic to reject walking away. Indeed, the only way to get a good deal is to have a threat of walking away.

Amazingly, Johnson managed to do that with Parliament tying his hands behind his back.

Labour MPs Falling in Line

Nick Boles On Board

Another Hard Brexiteer Now On Board

Macron Praises Johnson

Majority of Two

That is how I saw it yesterday, even if Johnson could not get DUP on board.

Jacob Rees-Mogg commented "There are Labour MPs in seats that voted 60, 70% to leave and they will, of their own volition, regardless of anything I could say to them, be thinking about how do they best represent their own voters."

Macron Agrees with Juncker

CityAM says Emmanuel Macron says he will veto Brexit delay

The French President today told MPs to back the deal, saying it was the result of “real leaders with real strategic thoughts”.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday said there was no need for a Brexit delay now a deal is agreed.

That ramps up pressure on MPs to support Johnson’s deal in parliament to avoid the threat of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.

Sir Oliver Letwin has now put forward an amendment to the government’s Brexit bill motion that would force the Prime Minister to seek an extension regardless.

It is irrelevant if Johnson seeks an extension if the deal does not pass.

France is clearly tired of these extensions.

Deal Eurosceptics Can Support

Jacob Rees-Mogg says Boris Johnson has delivered a Brexit deal that eurosceptics can – and should – enthusiastically support.

Eurointelligence Comments ​

Think for a second of Boris Johnson’s strategic accomplishment. First, he manages to kill off the Brexit party and then does a U-turn to get a deal, in the process of which he stitches up the DUP as well. Remember all those predictions that he was not serious about a deal - or that the EU would never agree to reopen the withdrawal agreement? What happened yesterday was one of those rare big moments in European diplomacy.

A potentially important development is the slow death of the second referendum - probably the most overhyped hypothetical story of our time. As the Guardian reports, second referendum supporters have concluded what the rest of us have known all along - that they don’t have a majority. They decided to pull the plug on a second referendum vote on Saturday, so they can focus on assembling a majority against the deal. This makes sense to us. It allows them at least to keep their preferred option alive.

But this means that Johnson’s deal is now the only game in town. The House of Commons rejected the only other deal available. There is now no majority in favour of a government of national unity, let alone unilateral Brexit revocation.

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What Happened?

  1. The EU got cold feet. As I suggested for years, all it took was a Prime Minister willing to walk away.
  2. Blocking "No Deal" was never about that at all. It was about blocking any deal.
  3. The EU can read polls as well as I can, at least presumably.
  4. Regardless of who gets hurt more, both the EU and the UK would suffer under No Deal, at least short-term.
  5. Germany was going to get crucified under No Deal.

EU Buckled

I have been taunted by Remainers for months crowing

  1. Another Referendum was coming
  2. The EU would never change the Withdrawal Agreement
  3. The EU would not change the Political Declaration

Number one isn't happening and numbers two and three already did happen.

Another Referendum is Dead

And if there was any doubt about the EU parliament accepting the deal, Macron killed that doubt today.

Red Lines Respected

In the end, the EU compromised as did Johnson.

That's the normal state of affairs in negotiation, as long as one side does not cave in up front as Theresa May did.

Short Extension?

Assuming passage, a short extension is possible, if not likely. It would give time for passage in the UK and EU parliaments.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (57)
No. 1-17


The Maven has replicated the comment error that many have noted. A fix hopefully with a few days or sooner.

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

Tactic is not my strong suit.

I thought that Labour will go for rejection. However, that choice would entail aggressive whipping against Labour Eurosceptics who are mostly Corbyn's allies in the inner conflicts. Seems like an inescapable trap.

Now it looks like they have entirely different plans for tomorrow. Their priority is not to win the vote but to make it meaningless. It is planned well in advance and the crucial tool is the Letwin amendment tabled for tomorrow. Even if the whole house votes for the deal, it would still mean nothing with the amendment.

Will the amendment pass? Nobody knows for sure. But the Benn Act had a comfortable majority and this is the same thing. Remainers will go for it en masse including Letwin, Gauke and possibly other Tory rebels. It is also convenient for several Labour Leavers who got their 15-minute fame today but don't want to destroy their party.

I might be wrong. But... It won't hurt if we wait it out. Just in case.



And besides France will veto it. Silly stuff at this point


Just as surely as history did not begin yesterday, so it will not end tomorrow.

Next up: Scotsxit and NIxit. Maybe even Cymruxit.

Decentralization FTW!


It does look like it's over. I think the Remainer's only card left is a VoNC, and they clearly don't have the votes for that- the best chance for that was back in early September, but they didn't have the balls to do it then when Johnson first asked for an election.


It's too late now, but I was daydreaming today about a tactic that maybe should have been considered in terms of the this Speaker (because who knows what devious amendments he has been facilitating to serve up tomorrow and, later, with the Bill): Gov should move to investigate many of the Speaker's controversial decisions to determine if he has broken the rules and/or the UK constitional/parliamentary maxims; also offer a motion to pass a Law that if a Speaker is found to have violated the laws etc. etc. that he should not only be obliged to resign within 7 days but suffer his pension to be annulled. Of course the motions won't pass but they would have sent a clear warning:

'Speaker, if you keep bringing these irregular and obstructive motions from the Opposition to keep bossing the Gov around even though you have refused a VONC, then once we finally do have an election and win it, these motions will be re-introduced, you will get investigated, and your pension will be on the line, so fly straight these last two weeks!!'

Well, we'll soon see how Bercow's Parliament can try to fashion resentment, chaos, irregularity, discord and defeat from the jaws of victory. As he loves to boast: 'He's done it before, he'll do it again, and nothing will stop him!'


First of all Mish I want to say sincerely and with all the respect I can muster, THANK YOU for your Brexit coverage, I doubt anyone here can guess at the hours you have put in to bring it to us.

It is 1:30 in the morning in Greenwich as I say this, the sun will be rising in London on what will be a historic day in British history no matter what happens by the time I get up. By the time I wake I expect to see that the UK is no longer in the EU, or at least a date is set for that to be fact.

It is true that you had a personal bias all the way through, as we all do one way or the other, but unlike "news" outlets your bias was both well stated and you used information and opinion of all sides to analyse the situation, it was the only place I could see both sides of the story in one place without hype or vitriol.

Of course now you have a follow up challenge. There was always going to be fallout no matter what happened, deal, no deal, remain, three different paths with all the same players, a mix of outcomes that can make or break remaining, leaving with or without, so the vote to ratify the deal and see an October 31 Brexit is not over on that day, I hope you keep us updated with the same clarity you have given us till now. If not at the same fever pitch, you deserve a vacation after all this.

And now to the remainer. (note I do not say remainer"s") You are not to be disrespected in defeat, you have your opinion and most of us respect that, you even managed to get people to think in ways they otherwise would not have. Maybe an olive branch to the opposition is what is needed here, having won some battles but lost the war you could well sink into hateful recrimination and obstructive behavior, but, all the problems of Brexit are still there. Getting out of the union is just the first step. The roots of the problem are still in the ground and will sprout all over again in a matter of months. I would ask that you recognize that this Brexit is not some partisan fluke but the result of REAL problems that must be amended. I would have advocated against Brexit had the EU been a real force for good rather than a shell for the rich and powerful, socialism lite is just not a good enough reason to hold power on the European continent. You have misidentified the problem, all governments have misidentified the problem, so you seek to apply the wrong solutions. And we are at the point where we cannot afford even one year more of applying the wrong solutions to real problems. The results will be a humanitarian holocaust.


In any case, I hope Mish has called it right on this one. Wouldn't it be nice for all this silly season stuff to end, eh?

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

My previous comment just vanished. But it was short: betrayal always has consequences.


I've just had my morning and early afternoon consumed by watching the Brexit deal debate. I only switched off when that tiresome fool from the ScotNats stood up for the second time to read his pre-prepared drivel. His greatest speaking achievement was to use the word "shafted" three times without getting stepped on by the speaker for un-parliamentary language.

Anyway ......... I can declare a dislike of Boris and a near hatred of most things Tory, but I have to say that he far out-played the other side at every juncture and every twisting gambit to frustrate progress. He even invited the ScotNat to congratulate England on thrashing the Aussies at the rugby WRC, the scots already having been sent home early after failing badly against Japan and being knocked out.

Two things were clear - the ever thinner and more tortuous arguments offered to extend the process into infinity and the absence of any heavyweight Labour figures (other than Benn) to argue against going ahead. All we heard was, "unions say this, unions say that". One or two of the braver ones stood up and called it like it is.

To see Labour MP after Labour MP stand up tooffer faux concerns about Northern Ireland made my blood boil. Remember that Corbyn was the man who supported the IRA and referred to their dead as martyrs.

Watching the faces and the body language in the chamber I reckon the predictions of a close vote are over cautious. I'd be surprised if less than 20 Labour MPs don't fail to follow the whip and support the deal.

Boris only dropped the statesmanlike and collegiate apporach once, when he answered a late question from a LibDem saying she could choose between this deal or no deal. Mark my words - there's a fall back plan that will deliver on 31st October even if the vote doesn't go through.



Well the liar hasn't got the votes. The Letwin amendment has just passed with a large majority. Now does the liar sign the letter?


Johnson’s deal: The reality of what is being proposed Ian Dunt. Key section:

People’s lives will be damaged. They will be poorer. They will be £2,250 a year worse off by 2034. The nation’s finances will be hurt. There will, in the end, be more austerity. And this will be done just as the world is most uncertain, amid a bitter trade war between China and the US, when the WTO is being brought to its knees by Donald Trump.

Look Mish, I appreciate you trying to predict the outcome but please stick to things you actually know something about, and, no, I'm NOT a "Remainder."

Time after time, you've completely MISJUDGED the political intricacies and made the WRONG prediction, yet similar to "Qanon" Trumptards, you somehow desperately cling onto some kind of "3-D chess" theory of how "BoJo" will outfox and outsmart everybody.

Spoiler alter: he WON'T, simply because there are too many vested interests (read:"The City" and the UK banking/money laundering industry) to keep the EU(SSR) status quo.


We are at an interesting stage now.

The initial EU reaction to the vote (as expressed by the Polish delegation) is that there will be no EU vote on an extension until the Withdrawal Agreement is debated and voted on in Parliament. Those MPs who thought they would know an extension is assured before debating the bill will find the opposite has occurred.

Macron has said he would veto another delay. We now know he is not afraid to go against the entire EU, as he just vetoed expansion of the EU to bring on two new countries (Macedonia and Albania). Juncker and Merkel, among others, ripped into Macron for the veto, but he didn’t care. There is clearly a power struggle going on between Macron and Merkel, and Merkel looks weak. Hard Brexit would immediately devastate Germany’s economy, and greatly reduce Merkel’s power base.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Remainer actions today result in a hard Brexit?! Certainly the odds of that happening have now risen dramatically.


Well, the remainers got their way and delayed the vote yet again, pretty sure this will mean now a no deal Brexit and upon the remainers head that will be. But, one thing in all this is just the sheer disappointment with the minority of British that are such pussies about it all, Winston Churchill must be revolving in his grave over their cowardice. He faced Hitler which was a more obvious threat to the UK than even the EU is, he guided Britain through 6 years of war, the blitz, rations that meant real hunger, and the remainers sold out this legacy for what? Whiny little welfare grabbers complaining that they MIGHT have to actually buck up and do some work.

Bad news for them, October 31 they leave without a deal because of the effete remainer phobia of being responsible to their nation, GET OVER IT YOU LOST THE REFERENDUM, you should have taken the deal while you could. For those of the ilk of UKIP who wanted no deal all along this is a great win. UKIP thanks the LibDems and Labour, SNP and DUP, putting off the vote means the deal will be dead by Monday, why would Ireland and the EU now take anything out of London seriously?


As an attempt to be helpful, I did a draft of the letter the PM will need to send to the EU now. Feel free to edit it until it is perfect.


I’m writing this letter over a pint of bitter. I’m sure you lot are ensconced in the private room at your exclusive club in Brussels where only 27 of you are members. As you detest pints, I trust you have your own half-liter glasses of fruit beer from the Belgian taps in your club. Drink up whilst you read this letter!

First, my apologies for the delay in this letter reaching you. Because of the climate change concerns you have been lecturing us about, I decided to deliver this letter without expanding Britain’s carbon footprint. That is why I left the letter with a very nice African chap who illegally entered our country and we were already deporting to the continent. I trust he brought you this letter with a smile, as he was told that if he delivered this letter to your fine institution, he would be treated with the traditional warm welcome Europe gives to immigrants seeking a better future.

Second, I further apologise for the rather dreadful stench you have probably noticed by now. I have stapled to this letter another letter from Parliament that I have been instructed to forward to you. Prior to sending it, however, I had to run to the loo to expel an unpleasant Remainer of my last meal in Brussels before returning home. Unfortunately your fine facilities did not include a toilet roll, and the only thing I had with me was the letter from Mr. Benn, so I was forced to use that to tidy myself. I might suggest you immediately place the letter in a rubbish bin, or better yet dispose of it in a medical waste bin, as I am quite sure the fumes could be toxic in your airless club room.

At any rate, we in the UK are sorry to leave the Europe party early. It sounds like we will be easily replaced, though I was surprised to see you turned down two new prospective entrants in Albania and Macedonia. I suppose I understand why you would not want them in your exclusive Brussels club; surely there are many more noble countries banging at the door there to be permitted entry.

I bid you adieu from London! Boris

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