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Friday 30 August 2019

Summer’s over, politics is back with a vengeance.

Boris Johnson has driven a stake through the heart of Remain. The countdown to Halloween has begun, the vampires in Brussels will soon have to find another generous host to suck the blood out of. Britain is leaving the European Union.

Wednesday morning’s lefty front pages rejoiced over the flakiest of alliances formed between the Lib Dems, Labour and other nobodies to take on the government after the Westminster recess ends next week. Unbeknownst to them, Jacob Rees-Mogg was flying up to Balmoral to ask the Queen to prorogue Parliament. Her majesty duly accepted. Checkmate.

It’s Dambusters stuff from Number 10. Boris’s bouncing bomb will land bam in the middle of the 60-odd days between now and Brexit day on October 31. Parliament will rise for just six days next week before being suspended. The next opportunity for Remainer havoc will not come until the Queen’s speech midway through the following month. Not enough time to hobble the Boris express.

The PM has done what any half-decent leader should (a rare thing in this age), he’s examined the opposition’s divisions and exploited them. The Remain camp in Parliament is large, but fragmented and led by Jeremy Corbyn, who far from being a predatorial menace is easy prey (see above).   

The Remain alliance’s only realistic hope is to call for a no confidence vote as soon as Parliament resumes and then cobble together a motley administration of MPs who hate each other as much as they do Brexit.


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However, many pro-EU MPs are resigned to Britain’s inevitable journey out of the troubled bloc, and many more refuse to consider helping the feeble, but dangerous Corbyn getting anywhere near Number 10. These MPs hoped to force the government’s hand with a fancy standing order facilitated by the pro-Remain speaker (see below). That’s no longer a realistic option.

Having turned on the charm at the G7 summit in Biarritz, the prime minister has an opportunity to strike a deal. Many MPs who voted Remain would like to see him succeed and avoid the insanity of a Remain government led by Labour. Today’s Guardian claims Tory “rebel MPs” will help pass emergency legislation to block prorogation. Too little too late. 

With Remain have been neutralised, the EU has no choice but to take Boris and his backstop demands seriously, although this campaign is far from happy that the carcass of Theresa May’s diabolical treaty is being revived.  

Brits voted to leave the EU in 2016 by an overwhelming majority, the biggest democratic mandate in our nation’s history. Yesterday’s move was made in the name of democracy. Yet, blaring over the airwaves over the past three days has been precisely the opposite message.

Soon after the news broke, Corbyn accused Boris of a “smash and grab against our democracy.” The BBC reeled off comments from demented Europhiles lamenting Britain’s sudden transformation into an “autocracy”. “Fascist” said one caller in. The word coup is being chucked around like confetti. Does no-one have a clue what a coup looks like? Click here for a reminder.  

Top of Thursday morning’s news bulletins was a poxy petition to stop prorogation that had reached a million signatories. “17.4m people went out to the ballot box to vote to Leave,” denounced Rees-Mogg on ITV.

“I’m not a fan of the Conservative Party but Boris Johnson is upsetting all the right people. Parliament has blocked the People’s Vote long enough,” tweeted Leave.EU’s chairman.

Spot on. Whatever Remainers may think about Boris’s manoeuvre, it pales in comparison to their own deceitful and divisive tactics over the past three years.

Inevitably, calls for a legal challenged have flooded in. “Boris Johnson has today made a nonsense of his legal team’s reply to my lawyers over summer… I’m therefore taking urgent steps to address the situation,” tweetedarch Remainer Gina Miller. So what?

Someone who would agree with that sentiment is Lord Sumption. The government’s request for prorogation was not unlawful, asserted the former Supreme Court Judge on Newsnight in response to yet another barrage of anti-democratic indignity from presenter Kirsty Wark. This is a political issue, not a legal one.

“The courts are not there to decide what are good political reasons and what are bad political reasons, they are there to decide what’s lawful.”

But not all is well. A deal is still in the offing. The odds of the UK leaving the EU on WTO terms have lowered. Having promised to tear up Theresa May’s deal, removal – read amendment – of the blasted backstop will now suffice. That’s an extraordinary climbdown and not remotely acceptable. This campaign and the Brexit Party still have a huge role to play.

“The withdrawal agreement is not Brexit. It is a betrayal of what 17.4 million people voted for,” pledged Nigel Farage at a Brexit Party event earlier this week.

“If you insist on the withdrawal agreement, Mr Johnson, we will fight you in every seat up and down the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.” Quite right.

Drowned out by the earthquake in Westminster has been Philip Hammond’s pathetic attempt to win reselection on the sly. Our deselection campaign against him has gained tremendous momentum in recent weeks, the disgraced former chancellor has been feeling the heat. Last night, former minister and fanatical remainer, Richard Harrington said he would not stand at the next election. Oliver Letwin threw in the towel last week.  

If you’re a Conservative Party member in a seat held by a pro-EU Tory MP, click here and get involved.
The Remain campaign may have been felled, but there’s still a great deal of work to do.