Meaninglessness of Brexit Extension Confirmed by Dec 12 Election

Mish

Boris Johnson accepted a Brexit extension offer to January 31 but the extension is now officially meaningless.

On Monday, I commented Brexit Extension to January 31 is Meaningless.

The January 31 extension is moot if there are elections in December as now seems likely.

Prognosis Confirmed

That prognosis has been confirmed as MPs Vote for General Election on December 12.

  • The UK was gearing up for a December 12 general election after Boris Johnson’s plan to go to the country received the backing of the Commons. MPs voted through the prime minister’s proposal for a pre-Christmas ballot and rejected an opposition move to hold it three days earlier.
  • Proposed amendments that would have enfranchised 16 and 17-year-olds, as well as EU nationals, were not taken forward. No 10 had said it would pull the bill altogether if the amendments were passed.
  • The Tories restored the whip to 10 of the 21 MPs from whom it was withdrawn last month. The party stressed that the fact the other had not had the whip restored did not mean they would not.
  • The UK might not get a further delay to Brexit if it cannot be sorted by 31 January 2020, Donald Tusk warned. The outgoing president of the European council again urged the UK not to waste the time it had been given.

The Votes

  • MPs voted against a December 9 date by 315 votes to 295, a majority of 20.
  • MPs voted in favour of a December 12 date by a margin of 438 to 20, a majority of 418.

What Difference Does 3 Days Make?

The Liberal Democrats wanted a December 9 election. So did Labour (not that Labour really wanted an election at all, because it didn't).

The significance of December 12 is that college students who are likely registered to vote near in districts close to their schools may not vote at all since they will be on recess.

That was a win for Johnson.

The amendment to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote was struck down when Johnson threatened not offer December elections at all was also a major win for Johnson.

Regaining the Whip

Regaining the whip means the expelled Tory MPs are now back in the party.

I have mixed feeling about that. I suspect Johnson does too.

So why did Johnson let them back in the Tory party?

They voted for the Withdrawal Agreement. They will do so again. Having voted for the WA, they are unlikely to cause further trouble.

It would be better to have hard core Brexit MPs but Johnson does not want them running as independents, splitting the vote. In essence, this was a political compromise to help win the election.

Ken Clarke can go to hell as far as I am concerned. It was his idea to let 16-year olds vote to defeat Brexit.

Caving In to Victory

Those who suggested Johnson "caved in" by agreeing to an extension to January 31 seriously missed the boat.

Johnson got exactly what he wanted: An early election when he is way ahead in the polls.

Heck, as noted in this corner, Johnson even phoned Macron telling him to OK an extension.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Johnson was adamantly opposed to an extension (or at least he said).

And he was, if there was no election attached to it.

Assuming elections, however, it was a purposeful lie. So be careful of appearances.

Johnson colluded with French President Emmanuel Macron, who demanded a "way forward".

The way forward meant either elections or passage of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA). The WA had the Liberal Democrats scared to death.

Understanding What's Happened

  1. Johnson is so far ahead in the polls that he would rather gamble on elections before the Withdrawal Agreement is settled.
  2. The Liberal Democrats desperately need elections to pick up seats from Labour. That is their second agenda. Their first agenda, outright staying in the EU is dead.
  3. The Liberal Democrats "Remain" strategy blows up the moment the Withdrawal Agreement is approved.
  4. A Johnson win would strengthen the case for another Scottish Referendum

Staring Into the Abyss

Once Johnson got Macron to hold firm, SNP and the Liberal Democrats caved in, not Johnson.

They had to, and Johnson knew it.

Again, mainstream media got this hopelessly wrong.

Curiously, once SNP and the Liberal Democrats folded, Johnson no longer needed Macron.

UK Polls

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Campaigns

  1. Johnson will run on a "Get Brexit Done" campaign.
  2. Corbyn will run on the amazing platform of working out an agreement with the EU then campaigning against it in favor of a new referendum.

Mercy!

Instead of health care, labor policies, wages, etc, the main focus of the campaign will be Brexit, not other issues.

Those who genuinely want to remain, have one choice and it isn't Labour.

What About No Deal?

"No Deal" is back in play as discussed in January Brexit Extension Increases Chance of No Deal.

I believe Johnson wants a deal. But if the election are such that he needs cooperation from DUP to achieve Brexit, then expect No Deal.

Threading the Needle

Regardless of what outcome you want or believe best, Johnson did an amazing job of threading the needle.

  1. May's deal was on the verge of revival.
  2. Were it not for collusion between France and Johnson, this could have dragged on for years.
  3. Were it not for the arrogance of Corbyn, there would have been a caretaker government led by Ken Clarke with disastrous results

Political Reality

Many of my readers wanted "No Deal". Some wanted Remain. Some wanted a customs union.

Labour, SNP, the exiled Tories, and the Liberal Democrats all gave Johnson a chance at a deal, believing it to be impossible.

Nearly everyone underestimated Johnson.

Guess what? The impossible happened.

All that remains is an election to prove it.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (37)
No. 1-20
Greggg
Greggg

Behold the power of oligarchy!

JG1170
JG1170

If you NEED 16 year olds voting to win your argument, then you are on the wrong side of the argument and you "should" know that.

NeverReady
NeverReady

"Once Johnson got Macron to hold firm, SNP and the Liberal Democrats caved in, not Johnson.

They had to, and Johnson knew it.

Again, mainstream media got this hopelessly wrong."

The MSM didn't get this wrong, they purposefully reported it the way they did. The UK MSM hate Johnson and all that he has managed, he is the "oaf" the "liar" the "cheat", there is no way the MSM is ever going to report on Brexit, Johnson or the UK Gov in any other light than the narrowly focused beam of outright hate and denial.

Latkes
Latkes

How long until toddlers get voting rights?

HenryV
HenryV

With their ‘Let’s Get Brexit Done’ message, the Tories are caught in between a rock and a hard place. Many people will say the Tories have failed to do exactly that in three and a half years, and even now think their heart is not really in Brexit at all. At the very least Johnson is perceived by many one-time sympathisers as both treacherous (DUP) and unreliable (‘No ifs and buts.’) Expect to see a significant drop in the Conservative support in the first opinion polls to be released after the election has been called.

lamlawindy
lamlawindy

"Were it not for the arrogance of Corbyn, there would have been a caretaker government."

I'm loathe to defend Jeremy Corbyn, but the dude had no choice: As leader of the opposition, he couldn't be seen as "caving" to allow someone else to be PM. Remember, many in Labour DO NOT like Corbyn; allowing somebody else to be PM -- even in a caretaker role -- could have been sufficient to trigger a leadership challenge. Had he agreed to a non-Labour PM, aspirants to the Labour Party Leadership would've charged him with surrendering to another party. Had he agreed to let a different Labour Party grandee become PM, Labour rebels would've coalesced around that figure in a bid to oust Corbyn.

I get that a hard-core Remainer would even sacrifice being Labour Party leader to stop Brexit, but that's simply not Corbyn. He's never been a hard-core Remainer. In 1975, he voted for the UK to leave the EEC. In 1992-1993, he opposed the Maastricht Treaty. In 2008, he opposed the Lisbon Treaty. In 2017, he whipped Labour MPs to vote FOR the EU Withdrawal Notification Bill (Article 50). Hell, during the 2016 referendum campaign, dude went on vacation! He's simply not a Remainer, so he's not going to give up the plum of being Labour Leader for something he doesn't believe in.

Deep Purple
Deep Purple

It is easy to be enthusiastic if one allows the goalposts to move. Self-deception. October 31 will be gone without Brexit and this is the 3rd Tory PM who promises to 'Get Brexit Done' in four years.

Johnson let it go very easily despite the tough talk. During the EU negotiation, he sold off a crucial red line (the union with NI) for short-term appearance. He might be successful with this but he deserves no hype at all. It depends mostly on what Farage is capable of during the campaign.

Quatloo
Quatloo

After three years of this nonsense I don’t think it is time to celebrate. A lot can happen between now and 12/12.

There is still no guarantee the end result won’t be more Article 50 delays or even remaining. Johnson got the election he wanted, but now he has to get a majority. If he doesn’t do a deal with the Brexit party they may end up splitting the vote in many constituencies and allowing a Remainer to win.

The work for Johnson has just begun.

avidremainer
avidremainer

To be so nasty to a 79 year old man in the twilight of his years is churlish and uncharitable. Whatever your political beliefs it is obvious that the man has acted honourably throughout his time in politics.

wootendw
wootendw

"I believe Johnson wants a deal. But if the election are such that he needs cooperation from DUP to achieve Brexit, then expect No Deal."

Johnson is too far ahead to need DUP. Northern Ireland voted Leave. The one part of Johnson's own deal (which didn't pass) that was good was to keep NI in the EU - and eventual re-unification with Ireland.

Winning an outright majority, and a probable large one, means that it's Johnson's deal. I don't believe he's a committed Brexiteer but we shall see what happens.

leicestersq
leicestersq

"Guess what? The impossible happened."

I am not buying this one. As far as I can see nothing happened. There was a lot of talk and stuff, but in amongst those words there was nothing of substance to be found.

If Boris were a sleeping remainer he would he well paid for the work that he has done. A clear path now lies ahead for 5 more years of EU membership hell.

Remember, Boris said that he would die in a ditch rather than remain after 31st Oct. He had a chance to go to jail and get the UK out of its EU jail. Our jails are far nicer than our ditches, but Boris didnt go for that. His actions talk volumes.

Now how does it go from here? Well it will be a difficult one for the Brexit party to decide. They either back Boris and you can reasonably expect a win for the Tory alliance, and then we get a horrible Brexit that will please only remainers. Or the Brexit party can go it alone and split the Brexit vote, and who knows what will happen then? I doubt that there will be a Hard Brexit majority, most likely we will end up with more of the same rubbish as we just had in Parliament which will suit the EU down to the ground. Either way the British people lose and the EU keeps its tax farm.

Boris has stitched us up good and rotten, just like Theresa May did.

If there is a Brexit party candidate in my constituency I will vote for them, but not the Tories.

Mish
Mish

Editor

"think this 'Clarke for caretaker Prime Minister' rubbish is based on a fundermental miss reading of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act and how the thing would work. If Boris had lost a No Confidence Motion he was under no obligation to resign and indeed to do so would have had to be able to advise Her Majesty to summon x, y or z."

You do not understand the act. I do. I even commented on the point of the problem thus my perpetual concern over 14 days to Brexit.

Within 14 days to Brexit Johnson would not have resigned. Over 14 days he had no choice. The caretaker would have taken over for sure.

I had a second concern - time enough to pass emergency legislation to change the act. The real window to act was probably 5-6 days not 14. I expect Avid to back me up on this point.

Fulgurite
Fulgurite

Did you remove my reply? (Both here and and to your post below)

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh man, you're not much different than those leftwing snowflake millennials or Karl Denninger! :-)

Mish got triggered by something really nasty: a different opinion. Oh dear....

FlyoverStan
FlyoverStan

I want to see what the Brexit party slate is. Who do they target and who do they ignore? I think Nigel and Boris have already mapped out a strategy on this.

Mish
Mish

Editor

I did not remove any comments today. I very seldom remove them

Mish
Mish

Editor

I allow far more dissent here than about about blog you can find.

Attempting to find out what happened to the missing comments. Were they to this post?

Mish
Mish

Editor

If someone has a screen shot of a greyed out reply, I would like to see it. Thanks.

dansilverman
dansilverman

Yes, amazing analysis on Brexit. As for the mainstream remoaner media MSRM, they are pathetic at reporting on such a complex issue. The pro-brexit Sun did a decent job and a few others. Brexit is and has been one of the pivotal moments of our time that will shape the world for years to come.

Mish
Mish

Editor

To anyone who sees Greyed-Out comments of believe that have had one deleted.

1: Please capture a screen shot of the Greyed-Out comment.

2: What OS and browser are you using?

Mish
Mish

Editor

I have confirmation from the Maven that an Akismet spam filter is responsible for the missing comments of Fulgurite and others.

The filter is terrible. It let's foreign language gibberish gibberish and multiple spammers post.

The Maven is looking at a solution.