The Official Opposition Implodes
It is difficult to under estimate the staggering events in UK politics at the moment. On Sunday, a day we thought would be a day of rest, ended up being a day when a lot of the the official opposition cabinet resigned after one of them was sacked in the early hours of the morning. The pace of the resignations was staggering. It was difficult to keep up. Monday was no better with another 3 resignations from the shadow cabinet by 8am BST. They continued throughout the day, making 23 in total. Statements were made by each of the those resigning and all of them questioned the leadership of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. His leadership is now in jeopardy and a leadership contest is now likely within the Official Opposition as well as within the Conservative Party. It is staggering that MPs, who are elected to govern this country, are abandoning their posts like rats leaving a sinking ship.
The statement by the SNP in the House of Commons today made it clear that Scotland voted to remain in Europe and have no intention of being dragged out of Europe along with the rest of the U.K., even if that does mean separating from the rest of the U.K. By gaining Independence. They are determined to stay within Europe, with or without the rest of the U.K. To be honest, I don’t blame them.
Another General Election?
The Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 introduced fixed terms for parliaments for the first time in the UK. The next one is not due until 2020. However with the massive change in events recently it is likely that a General Election will be held in the Autumn. However, today in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister stated clearly that the calling of a General Election would be for the new Prime Minister. That delays the decision to convene a General Election. It is not going to be made until the Autumn as well, when the Conservative Party should have elected a new leader, who will then automatically become the new Prime Minister. Then there needs to be a two thirds majority to overturn the legislation I.e. Support from all sides of the House of Commons. That support is likely in light of events.
Article 50 is the means by which the UK can leave the EU. This needs to be ‘triggered’ by the UK to enable the 2 year negotiation process to begin. The Prime Minister has stated that it will be for any new Prime Minister to make the decision regarding timing of that ‘trigger’. In the meantime a new department is being set up in Whitehall purely to deal with the issue of Britain to leave the EU. This will be staffed by civil servants from across all departments. The detail was missing on the exact details but that will emerge over time no doubt. The Prime Minister confirmed that there would not be another or second referendum in any event. That will disappoint the millions of people who have signed a petition requesting a second referendum on different terms.
Well, who knows?
“A week is a long time in politics”
Harold Wilson 1964
With the current pace of change in UK politics a day is a long time. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Stop the world – I want to get off!