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Monday 9 September 2019

Today is expected to be the last day of Parliament before prorogation – the government has until Thursday to announce it. The prime minister will today make another attempt to trigger a general election for October 15, which will most likely fail. That would suggest the opposition’s Brexit blocking bill, which will receive Royal assent today is set to du cceed in thwarting Boris’s plans to take Britain out of the EU by the end of next month.

Not so fast, according to the Telegraph, a strategy is being put together in Downing Street to “sabotage” Parliament’s plot meaning that if MPs want to avoid No Deal Brexit, they need to vote with the government today for a general election.

“We intend to sabotage any extension,” said a Downing Street source. “The Surrender Bill only kicks in if an extension is offered. Once people realise our plans, there is a good chance we won’t be offered a delay. Even if we are, we intend to sabotage that too.”

In other words, if you side with Parliament by offering an extension, the British government will make your life hell. Either you veto us now, or we’ll veto everything and anything as EU members during the next three pointless months of membership.

Boris will have been thrilled to hear France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves le Drian say over the weekend that his country was prepared to exercise its veto (see above). Remember, Emmanuel Macron took a very sceptical stance at the last extension, demanding Theresa May indicate a way of breaking the impasse. The only plan to have surfaced in the intervening months has been Boris’s tame demand for the backstop to be removed. Brussels has been silent.

If Boris sticks to his guns and finds a way, even if the EU27 don’t heed the threat, we will be in for an election.

“Corbyn can stop an election for now, but one is coming,” said Nigel Farage on ITV this morning as he reiterated his offer to Boris over the weekend: keep calm and carry on, and we’ll form a pact with you.

The big shift over the weekend has been the enthusiasm from true Brexiteers like Nigel and Leave.EU’s chairman Arron Banks for an electoral pact.

“It turned out to be a blessing,” reflected Banks on Leave.EU narrowly missing out to Boris and Dominic Cummings’s Vote Leave campaign in the battle for official designation in the run up to the EU referendum in a Sunday Express op-ed.

“It was Leave.EU and Nigel Farage’s campaign which turned out four million Labour leave voters, whilst Boris and Gove saw huge numbers of Tories bat for Brexit, bringing it over the line.

“Having two Leave campaigns that appealed to different audiences was a huge advantage.

“Now it is time the Conservatives realised that the leave collation must be energised to prevent the country falling into the hands of a dangerous Marxist.

This was a point made by Nigel last week and explored in our newsletter on Friday.

In Northern seats like Doncaster where the Brexit Party leader attended a rally last week, “big Leave vote, represented by Labour MPs who are Remainers and now want a second referendum, where we are the only challenger to Labour, equally, we would not want the Conservatives to stand there.”

Nigel’s intervention is well-timed. While the Telegraph portrays a bullish Number 10, the Times has heard whispers Boris has been chastened by Amber Rudd’s walkout of the government on Saturday evening and Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith’s reported warning of following Rudd and Jo Johnson out the door. With the political fallout apparently weighing on his conscious, Boris is reported to be prepared to give in and extend Article 50 in the event of a Supreme Court ruling which would order him to go Brussels at Remainers’ bidding.

The prime minister has picked a side, he needs to stick with it. While former Tories and the opposition work him from the outside and cabinet members do the same from within, Boris needs to bear in mind an election victory is his if he sticks to his guns.

After a shaky end to the week, The Tories are polling very well at 35%, Labour are on 21%. The Brexit Party’s support has been brought down to 12% as voters increasingly believe Boris is going to do it. They like Farage, want “Brexit done”.

So do we.