26th July 2019
The Polling from The Humours of an Election series, by William Hogarth, 1755 (Source: Wikipedia)
Yesterday this blog averred that the new Cabinet was not one that one could expect to implement policy effectively.
The day before this blog set out that the same three options of deal, no deal and revoke remain, and that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union by automatic operation of law on 31st October 2019 unless
- the current deal becomes acceptable (unlikely),
- there is a revised deal (also unlikely),
- there is revocation of the process (the right thing to do, as the approach so far has been botched, but again unlikely), or
- there is yet another extension (not in the gift of the United Kingdom, and the new Prime Minister is explicitly against this).
And before then, this blog explained that “ruling out a No Deal Brexit” was myth and cannot be done unless a deal is accepted or Article 50 is revoked.
This is a law and policy blog, not a political one.
But, for completeness, I should explain the difference a possible general election would have on the options above.
A general election would make no difference to the options above.
(At least not directly.)
Whatever the result of a general election (and only a fool would predict the result given the rush of unexpected political events we have had in the last few years), the wording of Article 50 stays the same, the current deal remains on the table, there is no real prospect of a modified deal before 31st October 2019, and extensions will remain outside the United Kingdom’s control.
To paraphrase Edmund Blackadder, “after the chaos of a general election, we [will] return to [ab]normal”.
The same few choices for the United Kingdom will be there the morning after, and the United Kingdom will just have wasted more time.
The only (indirect) difference is that an extension would be likely for the purpose of a general election.
This, however, is to take a strict law and policy perspective.
Of course, in political terms, a general election can change everything: one can envisage a new administration headed by a Labour or Liberal Democrat, or even a coalition of the able and sensible from all parties (imagine that).
And this in turn could mean a fundamental shift in Brexit policy (and imagine that).
The same law and policy choices would be there, but there could also be a fresh political approach (and just imagine that).
Thank you for reading me on this new(ish) blog.
I expect to be blogging here more often, instead of spending time on Twitter.
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