One month. One is all it’s taken for Boris Johnson to lose the Conservative Party’s majority in Parliament, see a surge in rebellious MPs within his own party, massive, nationwide protests to his plans to prorogue Parliament, and watch his bizarre Brexit plans be wrenched out of his control.
This would be hilarious, if the stakes were not so high. MPs across all the main parties have voted to take control of the House of Commons and will next vote to put in place measures to force Boris to either get a deal, or an extension of the Brexit deadline, beyond the 31st of October. If this succeeds, Boris has plans to call for a General Election. Should that happen, it will be a battle for the soul of the country, and it will affect future generations in a way most elections don’t.
An election might be risky. It will become an ideological fight, with Boris and his fierce desire for Brexit at any cost on one side, and Corbyn and others pushing for at the very least some form of deal on the other. There is the possibility (though I can’t even begin to guess how likely) of a second referendum on EU membership, though any such offer would be met with fury from certain Brexiteer quarters.
An election would also be played out via chest-beating appeals to patriotism. I can see Boris using this angle, and insinuating that Corbyn doesn’t love his country because he wants to derail Brexit. We’ll hear a lot of ‘will of the people’ talk, referring back to the original EU vote (of over three years ago), as though this is somehow a frozen-in-time fact, with no chance of change. In fact, there’s no certainty that the British public supports Brexit as much (not that it was a clear-cut result originally). Recent polls suggest a second referendum might even favour remaining in the EU. There doesn’t seem to be massive support for no-deal, and in some circumstances people would rather remain.
So it all comes down to the next few weeks. Our stability, our security, our prosperity, versus the illusion of greater sovereignty.