Steve Bullock+ Your Authors @GuitarMoog New Album, One Thousand Days, out now exclusively through @EUCitizensChamp (link below). 100% of proceeds fo to @the3million. Aug. 30, 2019 2 min read + Your Authors

Quite worried that Parliament will only go as far as legislating next week to force an extension request in the case of looming No Deal. That may well not be enough.

Can see several ways Johnson could get round that, and not many ways for MPs to make it watertight.

Parliament can (and did earlier this year) legislate to ensure the PM must make a request to the Council for an extension.

What happens then though?

EU27 will no doubt place conditions on acceptance, and, having had their previous conditions pretty much ignored, these are likely to be stronger than last time.

(Note that request>exceptance is not enough for an extension to happen. It must be agreed by EU27 and UK. Last time this was done by exchange of letters between Tusk and the UK Ambassador. So it's It's request > EU offer > UK agreement.)

So Johnson still has the opportunity to not agree to the conditions or timeframe presented by EU27, and it's hard to see how Parliament could legislate to force him to agree to any conditions presented.

That's the process, but the politics is open to abuse as well. Having got the UK Ambo to deliver the letter requesting the ext, Johnson is still entirely at liberty to call EU27 leaders and tell them that he's going to make their EU life hell if it happens.

This is a real threat. There's all manner of ways - from empty-chairing to voting against every unanimity issue - that an errant Member State can make life difficult. See Thatcher's empty-chair policy, and de Gaulle before in the '60s.

Would they do it? Course they would. They'd do anything.

He needn't even call. He can make a speech saying that while he has been forced to make the request, he will royally screw everything he can for the duration. It's not like his supporters wouldn't love that.

Hard to say if that would lead to a refusal of an extension, but it would be likely to lead to additional and more specific conditions on good faith cooperation, which again Johnson can spin as the evil controlling EU trying to control poor Blighty.

Ultimately, if MPs genuinely want to stop No Deal, I think they have to be prepared to revoke.

This doesn't have to be the aim, and wasn't the objective of @joannaccherry's anti-No Deal bill which they foolishly rejected and which would have saved us from being where we are now.

But they must be prepared to legislate for it as an emergency measure to avoid No Deal.

This is a big ask. Many MPs are scared witless of revocation, and fear it will cost them removal either by their own party deselecting them or by a leave-leaning constituency electorate.

But what a way to go, knowing you'd save the UK from catastrophe, and serious averted harm to its population.

Anyone who went into politics to make a difference has the chance to be a hero here, whatever their party affiliation or past actions.

You can follow @GuitarMoog.


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