Brexit – straws in the wind for UK election

I have ignored the possibility of a UK election because it requires a large number of Tories to vote for losing their seats.

But as it is the only thing not being bloviated about at the moment it is worth further consideration.

There are some recent reports of government discussions about possibly calling an election and recent statements by May opposing everything else that might happen on the grounds that she is obliged to support the manifesto she was elected on. She didn’t hint at any possibility of calling an election and all the bloviating has been about her untenable position with demands to resign immediately with no particular replacement or plan in mind.

Now that cabinet has lost control of Parliament the traditional procedure under the Westminster system would be to either replace the government or replace the parliament.

Parliamentary politics has become so ritualistic under the two party system enforced by single member electorates that they have fogotton the basis for their rituals. Recent changes from the Westminster system have produced a “fixed term” Prime Minister until December and a “fixed term” Parliament until 2022. This absurdity is now confronted with deadlocked decisions that must be resolved within 3 weeks.

One way or another, the UK will request an extension beyond April 12, which requires participation in the EU elections in May. That is a major fork in the road away from Brexit which will split the Tory party and outrage a lot of blowhards.

I still think the most likely way, after exhausting all other options, will be to accept the proposed Withdrawal Agreement deal, subject to confirmation by a referendum.

But another possible way is for the Government to propose an early election and whip sufficient Tories into supporting it for there to be the two thirds majority required. Getting two thirds against a government whip would be impossible. With government support it would be easy.

The EU would of course grant an extension on that basis.

Some of May’s more “inexplicable” behaviour could be explained, as could the defeat of a vote to force a recall of Parliament if no deal within 7 days of deadline.

May’s speech blaming Parliament for the mess helped defuse the efforts to blame the EU at her own expense from the viewpoint of MPs. But it also sets the stage for having been forced by Parliament to hold elections for Members of the European Parliament despite a referendum to withdraw and insisting that the UK Parliament must itself also face elections.

Either way, I don’t see any long delay between the next (long) extension and a final decision for No Brexit after holding European Elections.

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