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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Boris shuts down Parliament

by New Worker correspondent

BORIS JOHNSON shut down Parliament on Monday amid jeers from the opposition after MPs once again rejected his call for a snap election. But hopes that the enforced five-week break would help enhance the Prime Minister’s standing were soon dashed following the decision of a Scottish court that ruled the prorogation unlawful amid reports that Labour is now just one point behind the Tories in the opinion polls.

The House of Commons closed with opposition MPs waving signs accusing the Government of silencing them and chanted ‘shame on you’ across the Chamber while one Labour MP attempted to hold on to the Speaker in a symbolic attempt to prevent his leaving his seat and ending the parliamentary session. While these theatrical end of term stunts were largely staged for the benefit of the media behind the scenes the Remainers are continuing their offensive to stop Brexit and bring down the Johnson government.

Boris Johnson now faces a legal challenge to the arbitrary suspension of parliament.


All three judges in Scotland’s highest court of appeal have ruled that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful in a case brought by a cross-party group of parliamentarians. Lawyers acting for 75 opposition MPs and peers argued that Johnson’s suspension was illegal and in breach of the constitution, as it was designed to stifle parliamentary debate and action on Brexit. The Government said it was disappointed by the ruling and it would now appeal to the Supreme Court.

Though the Conservatives are still ahead in the opinion polls the purge of the grandees who opposed Johnson in the House of Commons last week has dented the Tory lead. Labour is just one point behind the Tories while a private poll commissioned by the Conservative Party suggests that the next election will produce another hung parliament with the Tories taking between 295 and 300 seats, well short of the 326 majority needed in the House of Commons.

Though the Johnson Team are adamant that they want a general election now a new note of caution is being struck in Downing Street. Inside the Westminster bubble rumours abound about the Prime Minister’s willingness to now consider some sort of Irish “backstop” following talks with the Irish leader, Leo Varadkar, in Dublin this week.

Though Johnson was adamant that the UK would leave the European Union on 31st October he said that a no-deal Brexit would be a failure that both the British and Irish governments would be responsible for.

Whether the mercurial Tory leader can agree to a “backstop” that maintains the existing open border between the Irish republic and the occupied north of Ireland remains to be seen. And even if a last-minute deal was cut with Dublin and Brussels it would still need to be endorsed by the Democratic Unionists (DUP) , whose ten MPs keep the Tories afloat in the current parliament. That’s not likely to happen as the northern Irish bigots have made it clear that they will not support anything that would undermine northern Ireland’s current status within the United Kingdom.

Johnson could, of course, dump the DUP and sign up to another version of Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement, which would keep the UK in the EU in all but name, with the support of some Remainers. But this would put him at odds with the hard-line Brexiteers in his own camp and still leave Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party breathing down his neck.

Meanwhile the Remainer grip on Labour grows with some of them arguing that an incoming Labour government should call for a second referendum that would rule out a “no-deal” Brexit and simply to decide on remaining in the EU or accepting Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement.