Opposition parties met yesterday in the offices of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to cobble together an agreement to replace Boris Johnson with some form of national unity government headed by a ‘caretaker’ leader to make sure that Article 50 is extended and a No Deal Brexit is quashed for good.
They have been driven into a frenzy by Johnson’s repeated accusations that Labour and the Remain parties have betrayed the vote of 17.4 million people to leave the EU and his posturing as the champion of the people against an unrepresentative Parliament.
In his unrelenting depiction of Labour as the party of betrayal and surrender and invoking the spectre of workers and the middle classes who voted to break with the EU rising up against a Parliament dominated by an elite of Remainers, Johnson is banking on the fear of revolution prevailing and forcing through a sell-out deal to remain in the EU.
Despite the fact that Johnson bangs on continually about how he is prepared to leave with No Deal on October 31st and would rather ‘die in a ditch’ than extend Article 50, all the signs are there that he is determined to reach a deal with Brussels.
Such a deal will simply be a re-hash, with cosmetic alterations, of the one offered to Theresa May by the EU, the so-called zero-plus deal that keeps Britain tied to the EU through the single market and under the control of the EU courts.
Three times May put this deal through Parliament and three times it was rejected with no agreement between MPs, with the majority of Remainers unhappy with any deal and wanting Brexit cancelled completely.
It is telling that both Johnson and Michael Gove along with many others in Johnson’s cabinet voted for May’s deal the last time.
Indeed Gove, who is in charge of no-deal planning for the government, recently stated that he would be prepared to vote for the last May bill if it was brought back to Parliament.
Johnson himself wrote in the Telegraph on 15 September that: ‘I intend to go to that crucial summit on October 17, and finalise an agreement that will protect the interests of business and citizens on both sides of the Channel’ adding: ‘I believe passionately that we can do it.’
Johnson is desperate to get a deal with the EU; he reflects the desperation of a feeble British capitalist class that sees its only hope of surviving the world economic crisis by remaining in the EU.
Johnson’s tactics for succeeding in getting a rotten deal through a divided Parliament is to unite them through the fear of revolution and civil war on the streets between the capitalist state and an enraged working and middle class.
The aim of all the fiery rhetoric from Johnson about betrayal and surrender is to create a climate of fear amongst MPs making them want to patch things up and vote through a variation of May’s deal.
This was what was behind the call at the weekend by Ken Clarke who urged Johnson to ‘put together a cross-party alliance to get a deal through’ as this would now win the support of the majority of Labour MPs who ‘regretted having not voted for it previously’.
What is clear, is that the working class can have no confidence in Johnson breaking with the EU on October 31st and every confidence that he is preparing a deal that keeps British capitalism firmly under the control of the EU bosses and bankers and their courts.
That might be the result the bourgeoisie crave but it is not the one that workers want or voted for in 2016.
The immediate task before the working class today is to mobilise the strength of the class and its unions in a general strike and turn the fear of revolution into socialist revolution itself by bringing down the Tories and forcing a complete break with the EU.
This working class will not stop there but go forward to a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers, placing industry, land, banks and services under the management and control of the working class to build a socialist society.