Boris Johnson has ditched his plan to resign on October 18 and has latched on to another ploy – to force the EU to chuck Britain out of Europe.
The PM has been flailing around for a Plan B since Parliament passed laws to block no-deal and delay Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn thwarted his early election plot.
On Thursday a downhearted Mr Johnson thought his premiership – to use his phrase – would be “dead in a ditch” at the EU summit in Brussels next month.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would have become temporary PM while the Tories held a hasty search for a new leader.
Now Mr Johnson’s advisers have found an obscure facet of EU law which they claim would enable the UK to paralyse the ruling European Commission if we remain beyond the current exit deadline of October 31.
The Commission must have 28 commissioners by November 1, one for each member state.
Mr Johnson will refuse to supply one from Britain. That means the Commission cannot legally constitute itself.
And if the EU tries to reduce the number to 27 so they can begin work, Mr Johnson will use Britain’s veto to stop them.
A No.10 source said: “We will play the EU at their own game and fight fire with fire.”
And a senior Whitehall official told the Sunday People: “We’re not going to take this lying down as Theresa May ’s administration did.”
Mr Johnson goes to Brussels for the crunch European Council meeting on Thursday October 17.
But he was hit by another major resignation last night when Cabinet minister, Amber Rudd walked out.
She reportedly said there’s no evidence the Prime Minister is seeking a deal.
Refusing to ask for an extension will be breaking British law, which Mr Johnson is prepared to do.
Former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord MacDonald said yesterday that it could see the PM arrested and imprisoned.
But Mr Johnson is gambling the EU will insist we leave by October 31 anyway so its institutions can be up and running next day.
Meanwhile the PM – who flew back to London with girlfriend Carrie Symonds yesterday after cutting short a visit to the Queen at Balmoral, Scotland – is looking at more desperate ways to force an election.
The most outlandish is to trigger a vote of no confidence in himself so Britain can go to the polls on Friday, October 25, six days before Brexit Day.
A Whitehall source said: “That option is still on the table.”
No10 are also considering a legal challenge to the no-deal Bill launched by Labour ’s Hilary Benn which passed all its Parliamentary stages on Friday. Mr Johnson could argue that under Commons rules it should never have been allowed in the first place.
But in Parliament Mr Johnson is now completely boxed in. His entire strategy relied on the convention that opposition parties never refuse an election. But Mr Corbyn wrong-footed him.
The PM will try again tomorrow to get MPs to vote for one to be held on Tuesday October 15.
But Labour, SNP , Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru plan to sidestep what Tony Blair calls Boris Johnson ’s “elephant trap” and will not give the PM the required two-thirds majority.
Labour’s Kevan Jones said: “We’re not playing ball. We’ll let the PM stew in his own juice.” No10 says Mr Johnson is considering the alternative option of calling a no confidence vote in himself.
Labour sources say that is a stunt and they may not go along with it. If no one has Parliament’s confidence there will be an election 25 working days later on October 25.
Yesterday at least 200 people joined a pro-Brexit demo by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance and clashed with the anti-Brexit group March for Change in Parliament Square in central London. Police intervened after beer cans were thrown.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.