Rejoice – it’s the final weekend of the May Premiership. And rejoice even more: as Parliament rises on the 25th of July and returns on the 3rd of September – this is called ‘Summer Recess’ – we’ll be free of plots, ‘rebels’ and screeching peacocks in the HoC from next Friday. Or will we?
I’m certain the Brexit Betrayers won’t slacken or vanish – oh no! On Tuesday the 23rd of July the result of the now so tedious Leadership vote will be announced, and the fuses to detonate the BoJo Brexit have already been laid.
Yesterday the ‘Rebels’ managed to get their ‘Grieve Amendment’ through the HoC, with the help of Mr Bercow. Firstly, this is, in a nutshell, what happened:
“MPs voted by 315 votes to 274 to back a Lords amendment to a Bill about Northern Ireland which will make it difficult for Mr Johnson to suspend Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.” (paywalled link)
This is what it means:
“The House of Lords […] passed an amendment that would require a minister of the Crown to update parliament every two weeks on the progress being made to restore power sharing in the province. The idea behind this would be to prevent a future prime minister from suspending parliament for any more than two weeks — or be in breach of the law. Rebel MPs then strengthened this with their own amendment. This stated that if parliament is prorogued — meaning a minister could not fulfil their obligations to update MPs — then the Commons and the Lords would have to be automatically recalled for five days to allow this to happen.” (link, paywalled)
Non-paywalled reports are here and here and you can see from the headlines that the ire is now focussing on those Tory ‘rebels’ who defied a three-line whip. Not only have they shown up Ms May as fundamentally weak – she is being urged to sack the ministers who defied the whip.
This also makes abundantly clear who the leaders of the inner-party opposition to the forthcoming BoJo premiership are. Not that there’s any surprise:
“Philip Hammond was accused of “total betrayal” on Thursday night after he orchestrated a coup against the Government in the hope of blocking a no-deal Brexit. The Chancellor sent text messages to fellow ministers urging them to defy a three-line whip before Theresa May was defeated by 41 votes in the Commons. He was one of 36 rebels who either abstained or voted against the Government, in what one furious Eurosceptic described as an attempt to “booby trap” Brexit for Boris Johnson.” (paywalled link)
“Mrs May was under pressure on Thursday night to sack Mr Hammond for his act of disloyalty, even though her tenure in No 10 – and Mr Hammond’s in No 11 – will end next week, and was accused of a final act of weakness in failing to discipline either the Chancellor or seven other ministers who rebelled.” (paywalled link)
With the battle lines drawn, we are grateful to the ‘sources’ inside the Tory Party who talked to the DT, giving us the reactions of some of the original rebels, the Brexiteers standing up against the May vassalage Treaty:
“[Hammond] is believed to be the first chancellor ever to defy a three-line whip without being sacked or resigning. One Cabinet minister told The Telegraph: “There is incredulity that he hasn’t been sacked and there is a lot of anger directed against all the people who have done this.” […] Jacob Rees-Mogg […] said: “A lot of people are absolutely furious about this and feel it is a real betrayal.It is essentially contemptuous of the constitution to fail to support the Government without resigning.” (paywalled link)
There’s this rather interesting snippet about why and how this Greive amendment came to pass:
Others, however, suggested Mrs May had deliberately defied advice to withdraw the Bill, and questioned her motives for doing so. One source said that both Julian Smith, the Chief Whip, and his deputy Chris Pincher had “made absolutely clear to No 10 that the Bill should not be brought forward because of the risk of amendments”. ” (paywalled link)
Well – why are they astonished? Have they still not grasped that Ms May is one of the Arch Remainers? And could they not foresee that her puppet master, Sir Mark Sedwill, would counsel her not to interfere in this legislative process so that the Remainers could stop BoJo?
Of course the rumour mills are now working full tilt. We read in RemainCentral that ‘Ministers will resign’ even before BoJo has had time to say hello to Larry the cat:
“Three cabinet ministers are preparing to quit on the day Boris Johnson becomes prime minister if, as expected, he wins the Tory leadership race next week. David Gauke, the justice secretary, is set to resign soon after Theresa May completes her final prime minister’s questions on Wednesday. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, and Rory Stewart, the international development secretary, are also considering departing before Mr Johnson arrives, according to allies.” (link, paywalled)
‘Allies’? Who they? Can we have their names? According to The Express (link) there will be even more resignations, their report – not paywalled – has upped the ante to twelve …
I’m sure Boris will be delighted to be able to fill all those seats round his cabinet table with Brexiteers! There’s a fine piece on this Brexit Betrayal by a former MP in the paywalled DT and we’ll look at that in detail later this morning.
Then there’s this latest rumour which shows the desperation of the Remainers. Do they not trust their own parliamentary subterfuges and Remain wrecking amendments? Why else go to such lengths and actually talk about it in the MSM! The Express reports:
“Senior Tory rebels are so concerned the next prime minister will go ahead with no deal Brexit, they have discussed asking the Queen to intervene. […] They are seriously considering holding a vote on a device known as a ‘humble address’ to the Queen, BBC Newsnight revealed today. If this address is passed, the Queen would be asked to exercise her right as head of state and travel to the next EU summit to request an extension to the Article 50 process in a no deal scenario.” (link)
You really couldn’t make it up: Remainers, not content with having humiliated our country are now plotting to humiliate The Queen! Who do they think they are?
The unsurpassed, indefatigable Sir John Redwood gives it short shrift in his Diary today. Here’s his comment on yesterday’s ‘performance’:
“I do not think even this discredited Parliament full of Labour MPs and a few Conservatives who have ratted on their promise to implement the decision of the people will find a way and a majority to revoke our exit letter. Short of doing that we will leave on 31 October, as promised by the likely next Prime Minister. We are due to leave according to European law. The UK Parliament cannot overturn European law, and only the PM can ask for a delay and seek agreement to changes to EU law to delay our official exit date. […] The desperate idea this morning that a Remain majority should ask the Queen to override the PM taking us out is absurd.” (link)
This then is the ‘state of play’ as of this morning. As the BoJo-Hunt thingie is now over and the votes are being counted, we’ll have the weekend to look forward to, with the final gasps from MPs on the Sunday TV shows.
However, as we’ve seen, the Remainers are relentless – and thus it’s for us to be as relentless as they are. No slacking – keep watching them, keep writing to them, reminding them that they work for us, not for the EU!