Jeremy Corbyn attempts Brexit power-grab!
So, it seems that the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is planning to table a motion of no confidence in the Boris Johnson government at the earliest opportunity, but is calling on Conservative Party MPs to help him out.
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Now that it has become clear to both the Remainers and to the opposition leadership that a vote of no confidence that ends directly with a general election would force both a no deal Brexit followed by a General Election with the Tories riding high in the polls, Jeremy Corbyn has been forced to look at just about the only option left available to him.
Now, remember that Jeremy Corbyn wants a hard left government with the UK tied into a permanent customs union with the EU – the worst double whammy one could think of.
To get this, he needs time..
First he needs time to turn around his electoral chances from its current trajectory towards nil chance.
And then secondly he needs loads of time to be able to negotiate a customs union with the EU.
And of course the only way to get that extra time, is to get yet another extension to the Article 50 process.
So let’s estimate that at about two years of more uncertainty and can-kicking shall we?
The trouble is, that he knows that there is no majority in parliament that would help him get the keys to Number Ten and run the country for the next three years until the next planned General Election in 2022.
So he’s come up with a wizard wheeze.
He’s written to the other opposition leaders and also to some of the most pro-Remain Tory MPs with an offer.
In his letter he says that the priority should be to work together in parliament to stop a no-deal Brexit for which the government has no mandate (that’s his words, not mine).
Corbyn then writes that he intends to table a motion of no confidence at the earliest opportunity, then he says:
“Following a successful vote of no confidence in the Government, I would then, as leader of the Opposition, seek the confidence of the House for a strictly time-limited temporary Government with the aim of calling a General Election, and securing the necessary extension of Article 50 to do so.
“In that general election, Labour will be committed to a public vote on the terms of leaving the European Union, including an option to Remain.”
Now, if you remember, Corbyn wrote a few days ago to the Cabinet Secretary, Mark Sedwill, to ask him fo confirm that, in the event of a General Election, Boris must request an extension to Article 50 from the EU27.
Corbyn got what he says is a non-committal reply and says in his letter to the opposition leaders that it would likely be challenged in the courts.
But that is not a dead cert. So he’s trying to woo MPs into supporting his premiership to achieve that extension.
Now, one of the first things I’ll point out, is that eminent people and bodies, such as the Institute for Government, have said that Boris Johnson could just sit out the no confidence period of two weeks, then go to the Queen to ask her to dissolve parliament for a post Brexit Day General Election in accordance with the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011.
And that would put the kibosh on Corbyn’s plan anyway.
But, even if Corbyn were to somehow make his plan work, it may take only a pure majority to get a vote of no confidence, but to get a General Election on the basis he suggests would take a vote of two thirds or more of all MP seats to achieve it.
So, Labour MPs could then vote against a general election to keep Jeremy Corbyn in power. But that would be quickly followed by a vote of no confidence in his government.
And does Corbyn not realise that he is basically asking some Tory MPs to sign their own party’s death warrant?
Anyway, the good news is that his little plan looks to have received a bit of a squashing.
Although the SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford said he would meet with people to discuss such a move, one of the recipients of his letter, the Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has replied saying:
“Jeremy Corbyn is not the person who is going to be able to build an even temporary majority in the House of Commons for this task – I would expect there are people in his own party and indeed the necessary Conservative backbenchers who would be unwilling to support him. It is a nonsense.”
I've written to the leaders of other political parties and senior backbenchers from across Parliament to lay out my plan to stop a disastrous No Deal Brexit and let the people decide the future of our country. pic.twitter.com/Jz1MjXCrqk
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) August 14, 2019