Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings has reportedly told ministers and officials that Remain MPs are now “too late” to stop a No Deal Brexit on October 31st, lacking the time to depose before the deadline even if they can pass a vote of no confidence in his government.
While there is likely a majority against a clean break with the European Union and reversion standard World Trade Organization (WTO) terms in the House of Commons — a majority of the MPs even in Johnson’s own Cabinet voted Remain in 2016 — Parliament is currently in recess, with MPs not due to retake their seats until September.
They could attempt to immediately topple Prime Minister Johnson with a vote of no confidence, which may well be able to pass, given the Tories do not enjoy an outright majority in the Commons and a substantial number of arch-Remainers among their own ranks would likely be willing to vote against their prime minister to stop No Deal — but he would then have 14 days to try and win a second vote and then a reasonable amount of manoeuvre to set a date for a fresh general election if that failed, quite possibly after October 31st.
Ordinarily Parliament has to be dissolved 25 working days before a general election — and so would be unable to ram through any anti-Brexit legislation in that time — meaning that, at least in Cummings’s view, Remain MPs have simply run out of time to stop a No Deal by default on October 31st, in accordance with the terms of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act which has already been passed into law.
Farage Predicts General Election, Urges Boris to Embrace Tory-Brexit Party Pact https://t.co/2IyER6LzYF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 3, 2019
According to sources who spoke to The Telegraph, Cummings believes the EU is operating under the mistaken assumption that Boris Johnson is “bluffing” and that “MPs will cancel the referendum [result]” before No Deal can take place, and that they can therefore avoid making concessions on a new deal with Britain.
“They don’t realise that if there is a no-confidence vote in September or October, we’ll call an election for after the 31st and leave anyway,” Cummings is reported to have said, and instructed staff to prepare for No Deal on the basis that the EU might not realise that Johnson supposedly really is set on an October 31st Brexit, deal or no deal — a premise doubted by some Brexiteers, including Nigel Farage — until it is too late.
Rudd, Hammond, Miller, the Lords: a Week of Remainer Plots to Stop Brexit https://t.co/FbqMeUe9HF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 15, 2019
Regarded as the mastermind of Vote Leave — which alongside Leave.EU was one of the two major campaigns in favour of Brexit during the 2016 referendum on the EU — Cummings is a contentious and somewhat eccentric figure, easily identifiable by his scruffy attire when pictured with high-profile people at high-profile events.
The combative aide is noted for his healthy contempt for most career politicians and bureaucrats and the Civil Service, offering the arch observation after his last stint in government at the Department for Education that “Everyone thinks there’s some moment, like in a James Bond movie, where you open the door and that’s where the really good people are, but there is no door,” and denouncing then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn — now ambassador to France — as “a classic third-rate suck-up-kick-down sycophant presiding over a shambolic court”.
Petition Against Boris’s Illegal Migrant Amnesty Plan Breaks 10,000, Govt to Respond https://t.co/4WCtrDtsfd
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 29, 2019