Tag Archives: General Election

Johnson and Corbyn: Two peas from the same pod?

by Brendan Donnelly
Director, The Federal Trust

9th October 2019

As the deadline of 31st October approaches, it becomes daily clearer that a plausible path exists for the prevention of a “no deal” Brexit and indeed for the prevention of any kind of Brexit. The dangerous incompetence of Boris Johnson’s government on the European issue has finally persuaded many, probably most MPs of the need for a cross-Party government. Opinion has not yet crystallised in Parliament on the precise mandate for this new coalition, be it to hold a General Election or a People’s Vote. At present, the balance of opinion in Parliament leans towards a new General Election, followed by a People’s Vote. Once installed, however, a cross-Party government might well wish to reverse this temporal sequence. A General Election now would be highly unlikely to contribute anything to the resolution of the Brexit impasse. By the vagaries of the current British electoral system, it could even result in the election with a workable majority of an English nationalist government headed by Boris Johnson. Opinion polls consistently suggest on the other hand that a People’s Vote would lead to the UK’s remaining within the European Union. Faced with choice, a coalition government would not need to hesitate long before calling a People’s Vote, an option for which it would anyway probably be easier to obtain an extension from the European Council.

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The UK needs a Brexit Referendum not a Brexit Election

by Brendan Donnelly
Director, The Federal Trust

11th September 2019

Parliamentary opponents of Brexit, and in particular opponents of “no deal”, are understandably encouraged by the passing of legislation designed to prevent the Johnson government from taking the UK out of the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement on 31st October. It would be going too far, however, to assume that a “no deal” Brexit has been definitively averted. The majority of MPs publicly or privately opposing Brexit should be giving urgent thought  on how to consolidate their advantage when Parliament reassembles in mid-October. It is obvious  that Johnson and his advisers will be actively seeking ways of thwarting the Parliamentary legislation, even including a simple refusal to obey the clear provisions of the law itself.

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Anti-Brexit forces have five weeks to decide on how to defeat ‘no deal’

by Brendan Donnelly
Director, The Federal Trust

30th July 2019

It was a disappointment to many that the Labour Party and those Conservative MPs opposed to a “no deal” Brexit did so little last week to oppose the installation of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. The summer recess will, however, allow both Labour and moderate Conservative MPs a pause for reflection on their best way forward. If they can use this for profitable discussion, it will not be too late for them to mount an effective campaign of resistance when Parliament reassembles in early September. The foundations of this resistance must, however, be laid in the coming month. Every wasted day that passes makes more likely a catastrophic “no deal” Brexit on 31st October.

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