Having been defeated 3 times in the Commons in his attempts to call a General Election, Boris Johnson is now going for a 4th attempt.
This time he is tabling an amendment to the Fixed Term Parliament Act for a General Election on 12th December.
The Government has also tabled a complex business motion to limit the time available to debate the Bill and the amendments that can be made to it. All in order to rush it through with the minimum of scrutiny. Sound familiar?
The current EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill will be lost, unless specifically carried over to the new Parliament, and the work done to ensure there was time to analyse and debate it fully will have been wasted.
The hard-won 3-month Brexit “Flextension” will also be largely wasted.
If Parliament votes for an early General Election, there will be a 5-week campaign period leading up to the General Election.
The new Parliament will then be summoned by proclamation of the Queen in Council. Boris Johnson has promised that this will happen before 23rd December. So there’ll be no problem there, will there?
Not forgetting that successful candidates in the General Election do not become MPs until the new Parliament has been summoned and they are sworn in as MPs.
There will need to be another Queen’s Speech (with its associated debate), the election of a new Speaker and the reconstitution of the various select committees.
Normally, and admittedly you can hardly call these times ‘normal’, Parliament would be in recess from about 20th December until around 7th January.
So it is quite conceivable that under these circumstances, the 3-month extension would only provide 3 weeks of Parliamentary time before the UK is up against the next deadline.
So instead of focusing on the greatest crisis the UK has faced since 1939 (or even on all that urgent fix-the-country business which was the excuse for proroguing Parliament and for the farcical last Queen’s Speech that HM had to deliver), vast amounts of time will be taken up with an election campaign.
A classic example of tribal party politics versus the national unity the country needs at least as much as it did in 1940.
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Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.