Regular contributor Peter Bingle is back with another Brexit forecast.
Contrary to media reports, the mood around the breakfast table at Number 10 will be relaxed – even chipper this morning. The strategy is working.
Number 10 realised that they were always going to lose last night’s vote on a tabling motion. They also know that they will lose today’s votes on a Bill which outlaws a no deal and extends Article 50 to potentially 31st January 2020. Delivering on the threat to remove the Whip from Tory rebels shows just how serious Number 10 is about implementing the plan to the full.
Crucially, Number 10 also correctly predicted that Corbyn would put himself and his party in the bizarre position of not supporting an early general election despite having called for one for the last two years at the same time as officially becoming a Remain Party. This is a strategic error of massive proportions for which Corbyn will pay a very high political price. No surprise therefore that Labour MPs representing Brexit voting constituencies are trying to resurrect Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement. Unless they are seen to have voted for Brexit, they are toast.
Hence the smiles this morning at Number 10. The Remain vote is now split between the Labour Party, the Lib Dems plus the two nationalist parties. Boris will be able to position himself in the general election as the ‘people’s champion’ who will deliver Brexit come what may on 31st October. The people versus parliament!
The remaining issue is the Brexit Party or more precisely Nigel Farage who now finds himself in a pivotal but very difficult position. If he really wants to deliver Brexit, then he must do nothing which fractures the Brexit vote in the general election. Will he be able to control and contain his party activists? Will he simply focus on Northern seats where the Tories have no chance? Or will he stand down his candidates and tell his supporters to vote Tory in the national interest? Informal conversations must be taking place…
So, the future of Brexit really is in the hands of Nigel Farage. How bizarre, ironic but delicious!