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It is a matter of trust. Few trust Boris.

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, October 21st, 2019 - 13 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags: ,

Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a stinging defeat on Saturday as Parliament rebuffed his campaign to take Britain out of the European Union by the end of the month and forced him to seek an extension that he had vowed never to pursue.

The background to this is as a direct result of the lack of trust by a majority of parliamentarians about how committed Boris and his group of parliamentary supporters are to parliamentary process.

The prime minister argued that it was the best deal Britain could hope to strike — one that, in his telling, would position the country for a thriving future as an agile, free agent in the global economy — and that any further delay would be “pointless, expensive and deeply corrosive of public trust.”

Instead, by a vote of 322 to 306, lawmakers passed a last-minute amendment, brought by Oliver Letwin, an expelled member of Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party, that would delay final approval on the agreement until after Parliament passes the detailed legislation to enact it.

In other words, parliament decided that  they were interested in seeing some actual legislation to vote on.  That they wanted to see that before they would look at the agreement that Boris and his ministers have hammered out with the EU. Since the ink on that agreement and any supporting legislation has barely dried (or possibly even written) before MPs had seen it, this wasn’t surprising. 

What is surprising is that Boris’s ministers weren’t ready to provide the enabling legislation or to have time to pass it within the usual process.

The turbulent events left Mr. Johnson’s agreement in limbo and threw British politics once again into chaos, with any number of outcomes possible: a no-deal exit from the European Union, a second referendum on whether to leave at all, or a general election that could shift the balance in Parliament. The only sure result was continuing frustration and confusion among the British public.

The government is appointed by the ‘Crown’ to provide direction to the country.  However the British public vote in their MPs to act as their representatives specifically to look at the detail work involved in the legislation.

The kickback for not doing their job and letting half-arsed legislation through won’t particularly land on the ‘Crown’. However it will land directly on the MPs from within their electorates by the public that they represent. MPs spend a lot of time listening to their public. If they appear to be obstructive to Boris, then that is where that comes from – the public.

Late on Saturday night, Mr. Johnson formally applied to the European Union, in an unsigned letter, for another extension of Britain’s departure, something he said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than do.

Which is precisely why the parliamentarians don’t trust him.

Mr. Johnson sent a separate signed letter to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, in which he said a “further extension would damage the interests of the U.K. and our E.U. partners, and the relationship between us.”

And so is this.

Perhaps Boris should spend time more looking at who he is responsible to. Rather than grandstanding like a self-promoting dictatorial fool – or a Trump. 

I’d have to say that, as someone who is thoroughly disinterested in British politics except in a very cursory way, that it is good to see a parliamentary system doing its job.

13 comments on “It is a matter of trust. Few trust Boris. ”

  1. tc 1

    I'm enjoying the enfant terrible of UK politics attempting to clean up his own mess.

    His lack of empathy and the 'born to rule' atitude entrenched by Eton and the various troughs he's gorged from make this fascinating IMO as he's got to go against type here.

    He must have several Tory Brexit hands up his date currently directing traffic hoping he doesn't ‘Bojo’ it having got this far.

  2. Dukeofurl 2

    "“Boris Johnson Sends Letter to E.U. Asking for Brexit Delay” is the understatement by some of the journalists in the US."

    Typical NY times , ignores the real story which is the remainers are trying to prevent Brexit from happening at all.

    ( have to laugh too as the first UK EU referendum back in 1975 SNP supported Leave)

    Where has up till now there been a concern about 'the extra legislation', being talked of?

    Obstruction votes pure and simple. Its like NZs MMP votes. I see that many seem to think we had a 'logical 2 separate votes' to bring in MMP.

    We didnt. The 2nd vote was a surprise bought in by Bolger after MMP resounding won the first vote designed to kill off MMP The Nats big business backers ran their doom campaign about economic ruin which faced us ( sound familiar) if we voted for MMP against FPP in the second vote.

    [ PS The Royal Commission in NZ back in 1985 laid out the Nuts and bolts of MMP based on the German system]

    You will find that no matter how much 'final legislation offered in UK it wont be enough

    • The Al1en 2.1

      So what if remainers are trying to stop Brexit happening at all? It's a democratic right to overturn bad policy, even after a referendum, especially when polls now put them ahead.

      At the very least, any deal should be put before the people to sign off on, or not, as is probably the case.

    • Nic the NZer 2.2

      This is standard operating procedure inside the EU. There have been multiple referendums which didn't produce the 'right' answer and these were all followed with repeat referendums or ignoring the results of the referendum.

      • soddenleaf 2.2.1

        This idea that all a party needs to gain kingly absolute powers is to addendum a policy to the end of their election manifesto. A referendum is not sacrosanct. It's appeal able, it's politicizable, the whole of parliament can take tyrns peeing all over it, thats their right as our representatives. It's the brexit gang that need to win the argument, and they don't even come to the meetings, heckle like it wasn't their turn in the light, to answer to the people. The Tories know their constituents, their voters, are counting up all the costs, risks, exposure to their businesses, and mentally kicking their local mp every time they hurt. Labour voters, are all humming to themselves, knowing they are going back to vote for labour, but meantime the joy of kicking back for austerity is just too much. And therein lies the exit, end austerity, push back on thirty years of neolib nastiness, in or out doesn't matter since trade, markets adapt. It's the cost to conservatives for their thirty years, how much do they have to pay to resync the politics away from loads of money stupid. you know, 100 regulations gone by lunch, who declares something that stupid, business don't need the chaos, or worse a big fish cornering their industry, as they have big money to bend the ear.

        • Nic the NZer

          Not sure what you are saying here.

          I am pretty sure Boris Johnson is doing his best to represent his constituants by a decisive exit. Most of the ongoing damage is due to the ongoing uncertainty of when and on what terms the exit will be. This is just what Boris is suggesting to Tusk in his letter.

          This is being dragged out by many factions in the UK parliament but (unfortunately) as far as I can see the result will be an increased Tory majority after the next election.

          • soddenleaf

            Aren't you worried that once the dust settles, that people will start to wonder how a party could make a absolute law, unrepealable, by putting it into their party prospectus and calling it a referendum. Take a potshot at creating a unassailable law. That Britian must exit, no question how, and so no need to affirm the new regime, say with a second referendum. Clouded in mystery, what does it mean, to labour laws, pensions, borders, maybe people who voted yes don't like the changes. The Tories even lost their majority, they don't even have the numbers, it'll have to go to a election at least. oh wait the Tories have pushed that out too. The referendum was not a blank check to rewrite how Britain’s live… …but that’s what it’s shapingup up to mean.

            • Nic the NZer

              Do I think the Tories snuck brexit through? No don't be ridiculous.

              The balance of your comment is derivative of that misapprehension.

  3. Paaparakauta 3

    His modus operandi suggests Boris may be an unguided missile designed to promote strategic instability. Qui bono ?

  4. Dukeofurl 4

    Been able to find the 'additional legislation' thats supposed to pass 'now' because they dont 'trust Johnson' hahahha..its parliament non one will trust anyone from the other side when push comes to shove.

    Trade bill Allows government to roll over existing EU deals, and to implement the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Government Procurement, and to empower the Trade Remedies Authority to tackle unfair competition.

    Agriculture bill Replaces the Common Agricultural Policy, allowing the government to pay subsidies to farmers. Not required for no-deal Brexit.

    Fisheries bill Replaces Common Fisheries Policy, allows the government to set fishing quotas.

    Immigration bill Ends free movement of EU citizens.

    Healthcare (International Agreements) bill Allows the UK to continue reciprocal healthcare arrangements with EU countries after Brexit.

    Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) bill Allows government to implement EU financial regulations after Brexit. Not required for no-deal Brexit.

    Up to 600 pieces of secondary legislation (statutory instruments) Exercising ministerial powers on more technical matters.

    Its all been kicking around since before the impasse at the original leaving date. Wasnt vital then either.

  5. So Boorish following the 'letter of the law' but he didn't sign it. So there, tantrum, you can't make me. Spoiled little fart of an upper class twit family who want to play with the country they have risen in and made their name in, as if it was a toy, and all the people therein are merely players. Like all those considering themselves the upper class – ie the Sutherlands in Scotland throwing out the Highlanders from their homelands.

    Then blondie signs a letter to Mr Tusk, the head of the EU and forecasts difficult times for the EU if Brit doesn't get what it wants, or rather its bunch of effete upper-class twits in the Conservative party.

    I enjoy reading Bertie Wooster, but he does need help from the clever lower class support of Jeeves. And that illustrates the business-background idea of Peter's Principle – that people rise up any ladder of society till they come to the limiting point, where they must stay because they have reached their point of incompetence.

    • Dukeofurl 5.1

      Where in the Benn surrender bill which lays out the exact wording does it say he has to 'sign it'

      Johnson hasnt wanted or like this weird attempt to spell exactly how to 'ask' for an extension from the time it was introduced. Not a tantrum to continue to avoid it as much as possible ….

      Does it concern you that you are lined up behind 'twits' like Letwin [Eton Trinity College , part of Thatchers Policy Unit…] but its good hes your sort of right wing twit.

      "Mr Letwin's Amendment (a) to the Government's motion on section 1(1)(a) of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No.2) Act 2019 and section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018"

      **”Letwin co-authored ‘Britain’s biggest enterprise: ideas for radical reform of the NHS,’ a 1988 Centre for Policy Studies pamphlet written with John Redwood which advocated a closer relationship between the National Health Service and the private sector.”

  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    Heraclitus said that character is destiny, and though some may fall short of it, the Trumps and Johnsons of this world clearly have tragic flaws of Grecian proportions. That the general British public are reluctant to participate in the ultimate tragedy reeks of commonsense.

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