AS THE date for leaving the EU, October 31st comes closer and closer, all of the vultures are desperately gathering over the corpse of British capitalism, either to try and somehow revive it or to pick its bones.
PM Johnson has conceded that the north of Ireland will be part of the EU customs union. This is a role that was envisaged by former PM May for the whole of the UK with her notorious ‘backstop’ plan, to keep the whole of the UK in the EU customs union until the EU agreed otherwise.
Parliament rejected the May plan on a number of occasions, but on the last vote Johnson, Leadsom, Gove and other Leavers voted with her.
Now Johnson has reinstated the May plan in a truncated form in the north of Ireland, but most MPs expect that he will end with something that could be mistaken for the May deal. The end product is to be put to the House of Commons on Saturday October 19th.
Rees-Mogg, the Tory leader of the House of Commons is already prepared for the worst. He wrote in The Sunday Telegraph: ‘In the final stages of the Brexit negotiation, compromise will inevitably be needed, something even the staunchest Leavers recognise albeit unwillingly – but as a Leaver Boris can be trusted.’ The message is grit your teeth, hold your nose, and vote for May mark-2.
The disunited opposition parties are however unable to to reach a united position, with the Liberal Democrats ready to get the ball going by rejecting and voting against the Queen’s Speech this week.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told Sky News yesterday: ‘Having a Queen’s Speech and a State Opening of Parliament tomorrow is ludicrous. What we have got in effect is a party political broadcast from the steps of the throne.’ The government does not have a House of Commons majority and Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly is now desperately urging opposition MPs not to reject the Queen’s Speech.’
Meanwhile, the SNP sees the Saturday sitting of October 19th as a golden opportunity to put more than one nail into the coffin of the United Kingdom.
The SNP is prepared to vote with Labour, the LibDems and pro-EU Tories, and even accept Corbyn as a leader of a government of national unity to stay in the EU, for a price – that Scotland can go forward quickly to a second independence referendum.
Sturgeon’s message to Corbyn is not to ‘bother picking up the phone’ to ask the SNP to put him in government, unless he backs an independence vote.
The Scottish First Minister said she was in favour of removing Boris Johnson from office and holding an election but her backing for a future ‘progressive alliance’ government relied on a deal that Parliament will agree this year to hold a new Scottish independence vote.
Corbyn has responded he does not think a new independence poll is ‘a good idea’, but has not ruled out allowing one, giving Sturgeon the go-ahead.
Corbyn was asked by Sky’s Sophy Ridge: ‘According to the Benn Act, if there isn’t a deal agreed by next weekend, then Boris Johnson must request an extension to Brexit. If he doesn’t, when will you hold a vote of confidence?’
Corbyn replied: ‘He is under a legal obligation if no deal is agreed by Parliament to write a letter. If he doesn’t do that then he’s in breach of the law.’
She asked: ‘So what would you do then?’ He responded: ‘We’ll obviously take parliamentary action against him at that point, either by legislation or a vote of confidence.’ Corbyn the great liberator is threatening to lock Johnson up!
Referring to a statement by shadow chancellor John McDonnell that Corbyn should resign if Labour loses the next general election, Ridge asked: ‘If you lose the next election, will you stand down?’
Corbyn replied: ‘We’re not expecting to lose the next election. It’s a hypothetical question. John gave an answer to an interview that he undertook.’
In fact McDonnell added that he would resign as well if Labour lost to the Tories. Labour is contemplating defeat not victory! All the more reason for the working class to take a hand.
Workers must call a general strike to force Brexit through on October 31st, and to go forward to a workers government and socialism. Workers must gather in thousands outside the House of Commons on October 19th to show the world that UK workers are determined to leave the EU and to go forward to socialism.