Super Saturday came and went, so what happened?
The last time the British Parliament sat in the House of Commons on a Saturday was 37 years ago during the Falklands War. Boris Johnson needed to convince members of the opposition to vote in favour of his deal. This is because his government don’t have the numbers to carry the bill forward on their own. On Friday he expressed, however, that he was confident that the House would support it because if they didn’t, it’s no deal, or is it?
Jeremy Corbyn was obvious on his thoughts though…
At 9.30 am (British time), Parliament convened, and Boris Johnson has been subjected to Parliaments questions and statements. Some in favour, some not so; but none as scathing as Jeremy Corbyn’s who said :
“He(Boris Johnson) has renegotiated the withrawal agreement, and made it even worse….
He has renegotiated the politcal agreement, and made that even worse”
The People’s vote March
As these debates went on inside Westminister, a protest was amassing outside parliament. Thousands of people had descended upon London to join a march to demand parliament give the British people a second referendum and to put a stop Brexit.
There are of course MPs that are in favour of a second referendum. Perhaps as an ironic twist of fate, Boris Johnson’s own brother Jo Johnson is one of them. But the number of MPs that support a second referendum is growing on both sides of the House.
John Bercow being featured heavily on many signs.
Kaya Mar, who has been very harsh in his criticism of both leaders across the house is not alone. Many protestors displayed signs of disappointment in the MPs. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is also believed to have attended the march and was walking at the front.
Chants of “EU, WE STAY, WE REALLY WANT TO STAY” amongst other chants were heard as the march proceeded from its starting point at Pall Mall. Many political groups formed alliances on the matter and were attending in support of the #PeoplesVoteMarch.
The drama doesn’t stop, as Speaker Bercow selected the “Lentwin Amendment” for the MPs to vote on.
Quick re-cap on the “Lentwin Amendment.”
Well basically :
The amendment says parliament will withhold approval of the prime minister’s deal until the withdrawal bill implementing Brexit has been passed.
This is, as you can imagine quite the spanner in the works for Boris. It meant that if the amendment passed, he could not get parliament to approve the deal. So even if it had unanimous support, until the Withdrawal bill had been passed, nothing could move forward. So what did that mean?
If the deal passed, Boris would have to ask for an extension.
Precisely the opposite of what he repeatedly said,
even up until the start of yesterdays Super Saturday sitting.
He would not ask for an extension.
The Results rolled out.
The Ayes to the right 322, the Nos to the left 302. So the Ayes have it.
Now, at this point, you would think the British Prime Minister would perhaps raise a white flag, and ask for an extension. As is required of him by law. Instead, he sent three letters to Brussells, but only one letter is required for an extension request.
…So what were the letters?
The first letter was the request to the President of the European Council to grant an extension of the Brexit Deadline to the 31st of January 2020 11pm.
But the letter wasn’t even signed by the prime minister.
Boris Johnson has gone even further and called all the European leaders, including Donald Tusk, just to tell them that the letter was “parliament’s letter, not my letter.”
The second letter, which was initially obtained by BuzzFeed News, was written by Sir Tim Barrow(Uk’s permanent representative to the EU). This letter was addressed to Jeppe Tanholm-Mekkelsen the secretary-general of the Council of the European Union.
The letter was essentially a covering letter for the first letter that explained how the reason that the first letter was sent was that law obliged it. Or to put it a little more bluntly; the reason the first letter was sent was that the law demanded the prime minister had to send a letter to request an extension but that the British prime minister didn’t actually mean it. Boris Johnson still trying to get away with no asking for the extension on a technicality now.
The third letter, which was once again addressed to Donald Tusk, described how the Prime Minister regretted that “parliament missed the opportunity to inject momentum into the ratification process for the new Withdrawal Agreement.”
You can say that the prime minister is trying to sidestep away from being legally required to request a Brexit extension.
Adding that he would have prefered a different outcome, he said, “The government will press ahead with ratification and introduce the necessary legislation early next week. I remain confident that we will complete that process by 31 October.”
Even now, many of us are still wondering how that would also be possible.
So what happens next?
Everything now rests on the Withdrawal Agreement passing through the House of Commons on Monday the 21st of October. Without it, parliament cannot vote on a Brexit deal.
If it doesn’t go through, it will lead to the government to have no choice but to ask for an extension. And at the rate things are going, it looks like this battle is far from over.
The British government must either call for a general election or for a referendum. Now keep in mind that a general election could lead to a referendum anyway, but that depends on which side of the house takes power. The government continues to lose support in the house as members of his own party continue to turn on him. One thing is sure, as Theresa May said in the house of commons yesterday, that she felt a sense of Deja Vu from the circumstances. And for once she was right on the bullseye. It can be argued that this was history repeating itself on having another prime minister that has been appointed by their party and not by the public.
So chaos in Westminister, protest on the streets of London and despite Boris’s claim to be fighting for a stronger union of the nations of the UK he is on the verge of losing one. The Scottish government is well underway to back laws to trigger a Scottish Independence vote with a second Scottish Referendum.
The Brexit storm seems to be tearing apart the UK, and it might be time for the government to start asking if this is all really worth it anymore.