YESTERDAY was the last working day before Parliament is due to be prorogued ahead of a new Queen’s Speech. The House of Commons is due to return on Monday October 14th to hear the Queen outline her government’s legislative agenda.
On Thursday 17 October, the two-day summit of EU leaders begins in Brussels. It is expected to bin the British government’s latest Brexit plan – which it hopes will be enough to bring down the Johnson government and bring in a government of national unity to remain in the EU for ever.
On Saturday October 19th, PM Johnson must ask the EU for another delay to Brexit under the Benn Act if no Brexit deal has been approved by Parliament, and if they have not decided that the UK will be leaving with no-deal. Previously, Johnson said that he would rather be found ‘dead in a ditch’ than give in to the Benn ‘Surrender Law’.
Yesterday, claimants ex-Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable, SNP MP and QC Joanne Cherry, and Remainer QC Jo Maugham were appealing against a decision of the Scottish Courts to dismiss their case that would see Johnson either jailed or fined if he refuses to write a letter to the EU asking for an extension to Brexit beyond 31 October, if there is ‘no deal’ with the EU by October 19th.
The court heard Scottish judge Lord Pentland say that, in his legal opinion, it was ‘neither necessary nor appropriate’ to compel the Prime Minister to ask for an extension because ‘there can be no doubt that the first respondent (the PM’s legal team) now accepts that he must comply with the requirements of the 2019 Act and has affirmed that he intends to do so.’
PM Johnson has agreed to write the letter of ‘surrender’after all!
The judge warned it would be ‘destructive of one of the core principles of constitutional propriety and of the mutual trust that is the bedrock of the relationship between the court and the Crown for the prime minister or the government to renege on what they have assured the court that the prime minister intends to do.’
The claimants are unconvinced, and were appealing yesterday. They are convinced that Johnson could well be forced by millions of workers to shatter all the core principles of ‘constitutional propriety’ in order to get the UK out of the EU, ‘do or die’.
Thursday 31 October is the date by which the UK is due to leave the EU, with or without a withdrawal agreement. According to Number 10 the UK government is preparing for a breakdown in talks with the EU over Brexit this week.
A government official told the BBC the EU has not shown a desire to ‘budge one centimetre’ since Johnson submitted new proposals to Brussels.
After presenting the plans to the EU, the government hopes the UK might be able to enter an intense 10-day period of negotiations almost immediately, with the aim of coming to a final agreement at an EU summit on 17 October.
However, a leaked presentation to EU diplomats revealed they are unwilling to accept the UK’s plans committing to no checks on either side of the Irish border if the Northern Ireland Assembly (Stormont) is granted a veto and there is no guarantee of checks on the UK side.
While all this has been going on, the anti-Brexit front in the House of Commons, which has already refused several offers of a general election, has been unable to agree to bring down the Johnson government by forming a Jeremy Corbyn-led government of national unity to stop a no-deal Brexit and postpone Brexit indefinitely.
PM Johnson is set to face a House of Commons on October 19th, with the EU already dismissing his proposals, and set to either refuse to write to Brussels, so booking his place in a prison cell, or writing to Brussels and dying of shame pleading for a Brexit date postponement.
The working class must be ready to take this choice out of his hands. It must rise up in a general strike to shut down the treacherous parliament and bring in a workers’ government that will break with the EU and establish a workers’ republic in the UK!
The working class has the power, and it must use it in the days ahead!