The Prime Minister’s ‘declaration of war will be met with an iron fist,’ announced Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake
It took two phone calls to convince Boris Johnson he would have to press the nuclear button and prorogue Parliament. ‘It was after he got off his second call with two of the European leaders,’ a Johnson ally reveals. ‘He just turned and said, “They don’t think we’re serious about No Deal. They think Parliament will block it. They don’t think they need to move.” ’
This morning Britain stands on the brink of a second civil war. The Kamikaze Remainers are heading for the barricades – quite literally – in an attempt to prevent the usurpation of democracy. Bridges are to be seized. Streets occupied. The Prime Minister’s ‘declaration of war will be met with an iron fist,’ announced Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake.
And, once again, the Kamikaze Remainers are allowing self-righteous outrage to blind them to reality. Despite the hysterical talk of a hard-Brexit ‘coup’, Mr Johnson hasn’t prorogued Parliament in order to force through a No Deal Brexit. He has prorogued Parliament precisely so he can drive through a deal and avoid a No Deal Brexit.
‘Boris told me he now thinks there’s a 50-50 chance of getting the EU to move on the backstop,’ explains a Minister who spoke to Mr Johnson in the hours after the prorogation plan was unveiled. ‘But the obstacle is Parliament. If the EU thinks Parliament will take No Deal off the table, then there’s no need to give concessions. So his strategy is to bring everything to a head. Let the MPs take their shot, face them down, then say to the EU, “Right, it’s up to you now. Do you want to help me take No Deal off the table or not.” ’
For the past few months Boris has been telling everyone who will listen that ‘Theresa May’s deal is dead’. But the truth is May’s deal is not dead. The backstop – a key component, admittedly – is indeed suffering rigor mortis. The Prime Minister has been clear that there can be no sleight of hand over codicils or time limits. It has to be completely ditched.
But the rest of the May deal remains on life support. As one Johnson aide phrased it: ‘The backstop isn’t the only problem, but it’s certainly one of the main ones.’
Which is why, while the Remainers have been rushing around drawing up wild plans to seize control of the nation’s arteries, Conservative backbench Spartans have been quietly expressing their own concern. ‘Removing the backstop alone is not enough to secure a deal worth supporting,’ Steve Baker tweeted on Friday. Concern that is fully justified.
‘The Spartans are finally realising they’re about to get f*****,’ one Minister acknowledged. Another explained: ‘You can see why Boris went for the reshuffle he did. If Priti Patel had been given a junior job, she’d never have accepted dumping the backstop was enough. But she’s not going to walk away from the Home Office.’
It took two phone calls to convince Boris Johnson he would have to press the nuclear button and prorogue Parliament
Over the past week, the Remainers have been subjecting the British people to a mandatory history lesson. We have been told that we are reliving 1653, when Oliver Cromwell marched into the Commons and ordered MPs out at the point of a flintlock.
But as we stampede towards yet another national crisis, recent history is probably more relevant.
It was Parliament that voted to grant the British people a referendum on our membership of the EU. It was Parliament that voted to trigger Article 50 when a majority of those people voted to leave. Five hundred and sixty-eight of our 650 current MPs were elected on manifestos pledging to respect the referendum result.
It was Parliament that voted on three separate occasions to prevent Britain leaving the European Union with a deal. And it was Parliament that voted on March 26, 2019, to take control of the Brexit process, held a succession of votes on its preferred Brexit model and spectacularly failed to find a majority for any of them.
All the haughty expressions of democratic outrage we have heard over the past few days ignore a single, simple fact. The people of Britain voted to leave the European Union in the biggest expression of popular will ever seen in this country since the introduction of the universal franchise. And, more than three years later, our politicians persistently and pig-headedly refuse to respect and implement that democratic instruction.
‘Boris Johnson is acting like an unelected dictator,’ they cry while literally plotting to install Jeremy Corbyn or Harriet Harman or Ken Clarke in Downing Street.
Who is really acting like the dictator this morning? The person who is attempting to force Parliament to act in concert with the wishes of the people who elected them? Or those who are again attempting to impose a never-ending parliamentary veto over the wishes of the voters?
When are the Remainers finally going to be honest with those voters. They do not respect the referendum result. They do not want to see a No Deal Brexit, or a soft Brexit, or anything that even remotely resembles Brexit. They think that when Britain voted to leave, Britain voted the wrong way. But they just can’t muster the courage to say so.
So this week they will begin their own act of insurrection. The fact that Mr Johnson is specifically attempting to avoid the very No Deal Brexit they profess to oppose is irrelevant. They will take to the streets. They will occupy bridges. They will give the British people a taste of that iron Remainer fist.
A coup is indeed under way. But it is not being mounted by the Prime Minister.