Brexit Power Ranking: We've Entered the Final Countdown

Christmas has come early, except no one gets any presents – just a 64-page deal signed off by Jean-Claude Juncker.
October 18, 2019, 9:15am
Photo via BBC. 

You know those periods of your life where you try and be healthy? You know – you've had a few “heavy ones” so now it's time to eat yoghurt every morning and put cucumber in your tap water. During this period where you also pretend almonds are nice, the thought of a large portion of chips will inevitably enter your mind. And when you finally cave, exactly 60 hours from setting the original target, the chips will never have never tasted better than in this moment. Please welcome: my Brexit metaphor!


After months of dreary Brexit info, we’ve finally been given the chips, and it’s all the more tasty after waiting for so long. This week has seen it all proverbially kick off as Boris Johnson brings a new EU deal back for Parliament to vote on. Will he manage to get it voted through when the DUP have already publicised their lack of support? Will he try and revoke the Benn Act? (For those who haven't been keeping up: it mandates that Johnson must ask for an extension if Parliament fails to pass the deal or approve a no-deal Brexit by the 19th of October.) What will he offer MPs to vote for it? Spicy, spicy politics. You love to see it.


Here's former PM David Cameron's assessment of Boris Johnson's chances of getting a deal through Parliament: "The thing about the greased piglet is that he manages to slip through other people’s hands where mere mortals fail."

You think his comms team would have briefed him to stay clear of any porcine analogies by now. Clearly, you can take the man out the pigsty, but you can't take the pigsty out of the man. Cheers for that mental image, Dave!


He doesn’t even go here any more!


British politics is really weird. At one moment, you’re voting on whether to leave the EU, and then the next, the Queen is riding in a horse and carriage down Pall Mall to read out a speech that Johnson has given her about potential laws “her government” would like to put forward. It's a bit like someone being held at ransom and reading out a note saying they “are being treated very well” and to “please wire the money”, except it’s about the Fisheries Bill, Agriculture Bill and Trade Bill.


While the whole Queen’s Speech ceremony was quite strange, it did highlight the Tory’s focus as a government. Mainly, it put emphasis on leaving the EU, revoking freedom of movement and new potential laws on crime and domestic violence, probably because Johnson’s unlawful proroguing of parliament stopped a new Domestic Violence bill.

Blink twice, Liz, if you’re in danger.


[theme tune to Mission Impossible plays in the background]

He’s got a deal! He says it’s good! They’ve moved the backstop to the UK! But it’s not totally gone! The DUP don’t like his deal! Neither do Labour! Can he get it through the Commons! It’s just too much tension to bear!


So Boris Johnson announces a new deal, and Michael Gove appears on BBC News. Normal; totally normal. Andrew Marr asks Gove what would happen if Labour succeeds in getting a referendum amendment as part of the deal. “That ain’t gonna happen,” Gove says, to a confused Marr. Why is that? Marr asks. “There ain’t going to be no second referendum.”

Perhaps the pressure is getting to Gove, as we’ve seen in previous weeks, like this video of him just, er, swaying. Or perhaps he has forgotten that he’s an upper-class British politician and not an American commentator from the South. Maybe he’s short-circuiting. Who knows?


Super Saturday is upon us. As detailed in last week’s power ranking, this will see Parliament voting on Boris’ new deal, and will be the first time that Parliament has sat on a weekend since the Falklands War.


Between publishing the deal on Thursday, and the vote on Saturday, Boris Johnson doesn't have much time to corral support, especially considering he doesn't have an outright majority. Unfortunately for him, the DUP have already said they wouldn’t back a deal. That's a tricky one for Johnson, especially since he probably doesn't have the support of the 21 Tory MPs he booted out of his own party. And that's before you mention the Labour MPs who want a referendum.

But perhaps it's not the deal Johnson wants after all. Perhaps someone's got their eyes on a little prize called a general election.


Jeremy Corbyn, man of the people.