BREXIT Season 2 – a new leader and a new plan?

Wednesday 24 July, season 2 of Game of Brexit has started and a new leader is crowned!

The season finale is scheduled for 31 October, just 99 days away. Only, this isn’t a game, and something significant has to give in the next 3 months.

Teresa May was a remain supporter who pledged to deliver Brexit once she became PM. In reality this meant a version of Brexit proposed by the EU, wrapped up in the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration, giving us six months of political turmoil and crisis, culminating in Mrs May’s resignation and the UK’s humiliation at having to take part in the EU elections, three years after voting to leave.

What has changed is that in Boris Johnson, we have a new Prime Minister with the clear support of 2/3 of his parliamentary party and presumably the full support of his new Cabinet.

The arithmetic in the House of Commons remains the same however. Boris’s 2/3 support from the Parliamentary Tory party equals about 200 votes in the House, still leaving him 100 plus votes short of getting anything approved. The DUP will not shift, nor will the SNP or the Liberals. So that leaves Labour, who are still sitting on the fence, ignoring the fact that 52% of their supporters voted to leave the EU in 2016….

What has not changed is the legal default position; that without Parliament passing a deal, agreed with the EU, before 31 October and without an extension to the deadline, the UK leaves the EU with No Deal on that date.
Maybe Mrs May was the problem and with a few minor changes and a robust Boris, Parliament could see its way forward, not voting on party lines and passing a deal? But with Boris saying categorically that we will leave on 31 October, he leaves himself no wriggle room.
Who knows how this will all pan out over the next 3 months. Stay tuned and buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…
Martin Gibbs is Dafferns Managing Partner. He likes talking about BREXIT and any political views in this post are his own.