I wouldn’t mind if Boris Johnson just told us the truth. He’s proroguing parliament for the longest session for decades because he wants to restrict parliament’s ability to discuss Brexit, and particularly a no-deal Brexit. Fine. And with parliament unable to come to any quorum on the subject in the last three years I have the smallest amount sympathy with that. But only a very small amount.
But, no. Apparently it’s about preparing parliament for what his government (which has the vast majority of one) is going to do over the coming year. But it can’t be that. Because he knows that we know there must be a general election. And he knows that we know that he cannot hope to continue to govern and pass legislation (and spend billions of money on things that austerity ripped from the country’s administration just recently – brazen vote catching if ever there was) with a majority of one. There has to be a GE. And the only way he can win a GE is if the Brexit Party do not compete … because if they do they will split the right wing vote and the Tories will lose badly. And, and this is key, the only way the Brexit Party will stand down is if there is a no-deal … on 31 October. His Farageness has made that perfectly clear.
So Boris Johnson is proroguing parliament to prevent it from legislating against a no-deal. And he intends to go ahead with a no-deal on 31 October.
And, on that basis, sad as it sounds from me, that’s what’s going to happen – unless the rest of them prevent the extended proroguing … if, indeed, that is even English.
I don’t want to rehearse the arguments against a no-deal, but I do want to remind everyone of one important fact. A no-deal does not put an end to Brexit. Far from it. The EU is our largest trading partner and if we crash out without a deal (and leaving aside job losses, maybe even deaths from medicine shortages, and the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement) we will have to very quickly come back to the EU and sort out a trade deal. The first thing they will rightly insist on is that we pay the divorce bill. And then, whatever we want to take on trade we will have to give on other concessions. Like freedom of movement. As we are the junior partners in this – and as we have soured our pitch with our largest trading partner by originally walking away from a deal – we will not have all the cards; if, indeed we have any. It will take forever, will not be anywhere near as generous as it is now and we will be the worse for it.
And for those relishing the impact a no-deal with have on the EU, they need to understand that if that market fails … then so do we.
Across the Pond, among a million things I could rant about, His Orangeness is pushing for one of his resorts to hold the next G7 summit. One of his resorts. There’s gold in there them hills. And he told Merkel that he was part German, for which she sniggered. And he was the only G7 leader that didn’t stay for the emergency meeting on the Amazon fires. For which they only raised £20 million – Brexit so far has cost £60 billion (x 3,000). Which Bolsonaro (Brazil’s popularist Trump) has petulantly turned down.
So. What’s my point?
Greta Thunberg has just arrived in New York, travelling across the Atlantic by wind and solar power. It has taken her six days and, as far as I know, she’s in good spirits. She’s going to the UN to talk about the Climate Emergency. On her own. A teenager on the autistic spectrum.
A lamb. Leading the elephants.
How did we get here?
Some photos to cheer you up:
Back on Earth, we have made it as far as Aberdeen. C’s pal Katie came to lunch on Monday, we’ve had some fun wild camping on the east coast and tomorrow we’re taking Cassie to the vets because I have been unable to successfully remove a tic from her side. In my defence I have had two ticks myself over my time, and in both cases needles and tweezers (and a lot of blood) have done the trick. She was v good about the open tick surgery.
So we will be visiting the vets tomorrow …