Getting ready for a no-deal Brexit

It looks like the way that the UK political system is set up, the new prime minister Boris Johnson can force through a no-deal Brexit on October 31 even if there are massive defections from his Conservative party that lead to it losing a vote of no-confidence.

No 10 has not ruled out scheduling an election in the immediate days after leaving the EU on 31 October if Boris Johnson is forced into one by the loss of a confidence motion, according to party sources.

Speculation about the timing of an autumn election is rife as Downing Street tries to figure out how to deal with the fallout if Tory rebels join with opposition parties to vote down the government.

Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s most senior aide and “assistant to the prime minister”, has told ministers and officials that the government is prepared to call an election to be held after 31 October and leave anyway if it loses a confidence vote.

Labour could hold a confidence motion in Johnson’s government as early as the first week of September to test whether he commands the support of the House of Commons.

There would be a subsequent 14 days in which MPs could try to form an alternative government but a general election would be triggered if they could not manage to do so.

Opponents of a no-deal Brexit would want an election to happen before 31 October in order to prevent a crash-out, but the Fixed-term Parliaments Act gives discretion to the incumbent prime minister to name a suitable polling day.

Since Johnson and his key advisor Dominic Cummings seem determined to leave the EU, it looks like a done deal with very few options available to those who think a no deal Brexit would be a disaster.


  1. file thirteen says

    The only way out I can see is if the no confidence motion passes and then the opposition manages to seize control of a day (like they did once before) to push through a motion of requesting an extension from the EU until after whatever polling date ABdPJ selects. Is that a possibility?

  2. Dunc says

    At this point, it’s almost impossible to say. We’re off the constitutional map, or at least in the bit that says “here be dragons”. As I understand it, it has to be the government that requests an extension, and it’s not certain that parliament can force them to if they decide to play silly buggers.

  3. Malcolm says

    There are a number of things that can still be done. These include passing a law that if no deal is in place by 31st October Article 50 is revoked and putting an alternative Government in place once the Tries lose a n confidence vote. It is all being left very late of course because most MPs put party before Country.

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