Brexit Brief: Best-Laid Plans

As Johnson maintains his firm lead over Hunt and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit looms over London, MPs are threatening a constitutional crisis to make sure they have their say before 31 October. Meanwhile, Labour commits to campaigning for Remain against a no-deal or “Tory” Brexit.

Johnson to Beat Hunt

Some 160 000 Conservative party members received their ballots this week and have until 21 July to choose between former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Since their selection by Conservative MPs on 20 June, Johnson has kept a firm lead over his rival. When he wins, he will attempt to broker a new deal with the European Union, come to the realisation that it’s easier said than done and be faced with the same barriers as his predecessor: finding a deal acceptable to 27 other countries, three Conservative factions and the DUP, with just a four-seat majority in parliament, that could soon be just three.

Prorogation Peregrinations

Surprisingly, ancient royal powers are dominating the contest. MPs are doing their best to prevent the UK leaving without a deal – even seizing control of parliament to pass a law against the wishes of the government in April. But it’s the stated position of candidate Johnson that he will not rule out trying to prorogue (suspend) parliament for a few weeks in October to stop such parliamentary pre-emption. On Tuesday, MPs passed an amendment requiring ministers to regularly report on the situation in Northern Ireland, effectively trying to make it more difficult for Johnson to shut parliament out. Meanwhile, former Conservative prime minister is threatening to take him to court if he tries.  The government has long effectively controlled when parliament sits through exercising ancient royal prerogatives and MPs are threatening a constitutional crisis to make sure they have their say before 31 October.

Labour Back in Remain

The delicate compromise between the Leave and Remain wings of the Labour party shifted significantly this week, with Labour committing to campaign for Remain against a no-deal or “Tory” Brexit. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn challenged the next prime minister to hold a referendum before the UK leaves the EU. Still, in the interest of appeasing the Leave-backing wing of the party, Corbyn promised to renegotiate the Brexit deal in the event of a general election – although still subject to a referendum. In another attempt to please everyone and make up for its performance in the European elections and recent polling, Labour has left pleasing nobody.

Related Articles

Tech Policy Trends 2024: Consumer protection – The next battleground for digital pioneers

Tech Policy Trends 2024: Consumer protection – The next battleground for digital pioneers

With technologies emerging and advancing at a rapid pace, tech players are under unprecedented scrutiny for how it impacts consumers’...

28 Feb 2024 Opinion
Access Alert: Advancing pan-African mobile roaming to unlock seamless connectivity and growth opportunities

Access Alert: Advancing pan-African mobile roaming to unlock seamless connectivity and growth opportunities

Digital transformation is accelerating in Africa, driven by the growing adoption of mobile services. According to the World Bank, sub-Saharan...

23 Feb 2024 Opinion
Revolutionising Africa’s connectivity as WRC-23 unveils game-changing spectrum milestones

Revolutionising Africa’s connectivity as WRC-23 unveils game-changing spectrum milestones

The World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) was a landmark event for the global regulation of the radio-frequency spectrum and the...

23 Feb 2024 Opinion
Access Alert: Peru’s congress introduces bill to regulate AI

Access Alert: Peru’s congress introduces bill to regulate AI

On 12 February, lawmakers from the Podemos Peru party set forth BoL 07033/2023 to establish a legal framework for AI...

22 Feb 2024 Opinion