đź”’ Ask the people again to break Brexit deadlock – The Wall Street Journal

This week, members of Parliament who are opposed to a no-deal Brexit have pulled out all the stops to try to prevent British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson from taking the UK out of the European Union without a deal. The opposition Labour Party who has been calling for an election for months has even decided for the first time in history not to go for the usual “bring it on” and blocked Johnson’s call for an election on Wednesday because once approved Boris can change the date with executive powers from the 15th October to after the leave date of the 31st October. That was despite Johnson calling Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn a chicken and “a big girl’s blouse.” Meanwhile the House of Lords is busy with a marathon session to discuss a bill designed to block a no-deal Brexit on the 31st of October. One of the Lords, Richard Newby tweeted a picture of himself on the way to the House with a duvet, change of clothes and a shaving kit as he prepared for a marathon session of debating as Lords supporting a no-deal Brexit threatened to filibuster, that is making overlong speeches and unnecessary procedural points to stifle its progress. But the filibuster was called off  and the bill is set to pass tomorrow. Once it has passed and has received royal consent, the Labour Party may be up for an election. The Wall Street Journal says it is high time that Brits get another say as the deadlock in Parliament is set to continue. The political landscape has changed dramatically in Britain since the Brexit vote in 2016 with the middle ground of MPs and voters who have been ejected from the Tories, who have moved to the right and Labour which has shifted to the left, having no political home. But with opinion polls indicating that the Brits are still split in the middle on their views on Brexit; it is unclear whether another election will declare a clear winner. – Linda van Tilburg

The next Brexit election

By The Editorial Board

(The Wall Street Journal) – The United Kingdom may finally be on track for a Brexit decision and, Lord, hasten the day. New Prime Minister Boris Johnson is forcing the issue, while Parliament remains stalemated. That means an election for a new Parliament is the best way for the British to instruct their reluctant representatives.

British politics has been close to paralysed since the 2016 Brexit referendum because Parliament has been composed mainly of politicians who didn’t want to leave the European Union. Former Prime Minister Theresa May squandered an opportunity to align Parliament with the public’s Brexit preferences when she and other parties waged a 2017 election focused on everything except the biggest issue facing the country.

That election produced a Parliament with no majority and a kaleidoscope of Brexit views. Lawmakers who prefer a soft divorce deal with Brussels or no Brexit are now joining forces to “prohibit” Mr. Johnson from leaving without a deal by the current deadline of Oct. 31. Parliament voted 327 to 299 on Wednesday to seek to delay Brexit again, this time by three months if there’s no exit deal with the EU.

Mr. Johnson immediately asked for an election, and he’s right to seek to throw the issue back to voters in a general election that will be fought over Brexit. The timing of this election wasn’t clear by our deadline Wednesday, although it seems all but certain to happen this autumn.

Mr. Johnson would prefer mid-October to give him a mandate to negotiate more concessions from the EU backed by the alternative of a Halloween no-deal exit. His opponents want an election after another Brexit delay.

Whenever it happens, such a vote is a chance to settle Brexit, though the winner is hard to predict. Brexit opponents are correct when they say many voters expected a trade deal with the EU when they voted for Brexit in 2016. Mr. Johnson has to persuade those Leavers that the EU’s insistence on following its regulations, its opposition to independent UK global trade deals and the like mean that no-deal is now the better option for Britain. If anyone can make this case it’s Mr. Johnson and his circle of can-do free-traders, but they’ll have short time to move public opinion.

The task is no easier for Remainers who hope to transform a Brexit election into a mulligan on the 2016 referendum. They’re right that if the electorate returns a Remain Parliament it will effectively have reversed its 2016 verdict and taken Brexit off the table for a generation. But Remain voters will be torn between a Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn that is the most radical in decades, and the wooly centrist Liberal Democrats who at best are always bridesmaids.

The Tories have received a bounce in the polls since Mr. Johnson became party leader and now hold about a 10-point lead in the opinion polls. Mr. Johnson is winning back voters who had fled to the nascent Brexit Party in the spring election for the EU Parliament, but the question is how many Tory Remainers he might lose to the Lib-Dems.

A victory for the Brexit Tories would put Mr. Johnson in a far stronger position to negotiate more concessions from the EU, which has been too bloody-minded for its own good. The dislocation from a hard Brexit would hurt continental Europe as well as the UK.

But if the EU still refuses to negotiate better British terms, then a hard Brexit is the best outcome at this date. The Europe question has bedeviled British politics for two generations, and the country that midwifed modern democracy needs to take charge of its own fate.