Phil Syrpis, Professor of EU Law at Bristol University, tweeted in July Johnson’s plan to force a general election as the defender of the people’s decision against the UK Parliament’s indecision and Brussels bureaucratic intransigence and be in power for the next five years. It was rumbled and it failed.
The twitter thread is here. Quite a remarkable piece of political forecasting. It makes sense of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s open contempt of Parliament, goading his Conservative colleagues into the desired voting against Johnson.
Now the Brexit ball is back in Johnson’s court, with very little time and very few options. Either go to the European Union on 17th October with a new deal, which cannot be too far from the one already rejected by the Parliament, or crash out of Europe on the 31st October and face the consequences of that.
Parliament has demanded the production of the so-called Yellowhammer report which details the likely effects of ‘no deal’, and the government is dragging its feet. Revocation is not an impossibility.
Any election before 2022 will now be held against the backdrop of Brexit reality not Brexit promise. It will be fought on the old grounds of austerity versus social and economic development. Johnson is carrying on with the strategy by campaigning on the areas where the Tories are weak – schools, hospitals and the police.
The Johnson plan of a deregulated nirvana is out of the window. The timing advantage has shifted to the opposition parties, who are showing encouraging signs of being able to work with each other.
Expect the polls to shift.