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Friday 6 September 2019

Boris Johnson heads to Balmoral this weekend to meet with the Queen and reflect on a week that could hardly have gone worse. This morning’s BBC news bulletins are making hay over a fainting police officer at yesterday evening’s unofficial campaign launch speech. How trivial, this has been the most climactic week in Westminster in living memory and the Remainer media is obsessing over a minor campaign hitch.

Like all Remainer tactics, the BBC’s objective is blatant and will therefore have the opposite effect, alienating the public even further. Boris’s central message, that he’d rather “die in a ditch” than bow down to Brussels, will resonate strongly up and down the land.  

The pro-EU elites would be advised to do some reflecting of their own, they are laden with problems of their own. Front page of today’s Telegraph is Labour’s plot to stall a general election until November, when they might have a chance of winning – they most certainly do not as things stand (see below).

Amendments to a motion under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act would not carry legal force. The only the option open to Labour who have teamed up with the SNP, is to keep blocking Tory motions until they reach November – the next is set for Monday. The Scottish nationalists have set their limit earlier, October 20. In any case, the ball is in the government’s court.

Boris can have another crack at a snap election, which he wants on October 15, but he has nowhere near enough MPs, neither do Labour and the SNP combined of course. Attention therefore reverts back to Hillary Benn’s Brexit blocking bill.

Boris’s pledge to never hand the initiative back to the EU was well timed. Remain can try and create legislation designed to force the PM to go Brussels, begging bowl in hand, but “somebody else should be allowed to see if they can keep us in beyond Oct 31” to quote yesterday’s speech in West Yorkshire. 

Labour have the inconvenience of multiple objectives, and while the Tories have had their eye on an election for some time, their sole short term priority is getting Brexit done with, then they can reap the electoral rewards.

Labour’s dithering over Brexit (watch Fiona Bruce tear Emily Thornberry apart on Question Time below) means the next election will punish them. If Labour force a delay, they will be the villains.

Keeping the Tories honest are Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. As this Tory Party member from the Question audience astutely points out, a combined Boris/Nigel vote amounts to 50% a slam dunk election win.

The can may have been kicked (again) but the prospects are good.