A meaningful vote on the program appeared the final remaining obstacle separating Johnson from a feat that had so agonizingly eluded Theresa Might.
The passing of the Letwin amendment, and Johnson’s subsequent request for a Brexit delay, has turned the saga on its head as soon as much more, setting up one more very important week each in London and Brussels.
It does not imply the fight is more than by any stretch: if Johnson can pass his withdrawal agreement this week, along with the relevant legislation to enact the deal, Britain will be leaving the European Union in a matter of days.
But the setback stopped Johnson’s momentum in the most abrupt style, and presented these on all sides of the Brexit debate a path back into the race. An out-and-out battle to make a decision the country’s future is now set to break out this week — even though on the continent, European leaders have their personal choice to make about no matter whether or not to extend the drama additional.
Brexit is not more than however. In truth, it may well just have been blown wide open.
A knife-edge vote
Initially on Johnson’s agenda this week will be placing his Brexit deal back up for a vote in Parliament — but even that could be difficult.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Home of Commons, indicated on Saturday that Johnson planned for a vote on his deal on Monday.
But the Speaker, John Bercow, stated he requirements to make a decision no matter whether or not to permit it initial. Earlier in the year, Bercow ruled that the similar bill can not be presented to Parliament twice in the similar kind unless the situations are considerably diverse.
If Johnson does get the bill previous the Speaker, the vote would not be make-or-break — Letwin’s amendments imply that subsequent votes on the withdrawal agreement have to also be signed off for Brexit to take location.
But the benefits would give a clear indication as to no matter whether Johnson has the numbers to pass a deal. If he does, Brexit legislation laid down from Tuesday would be anticipated to pass also.
Amber Rudd, who quit Johnson’s Cabinet final month just after losing faith that he wanted to safe a deal, predicted on Sunday that the Prime Minister has a “fragile but sincere coalition” behind his bill.
“I do assume it will get via,” she told Sky News.
Its achievement or failure may well lie in how several Labour MPs rebel against the celebration whip to help the deal, and no matter whether Johnson can convince the lawmakers he previously purged from his benches to embrace the pact.
Fifty shades of Brexit
The wider dilemma Johnson’s group faces is the can of worms opened by Letwin’s wrecking ball amendment.
Far from the straight vote on his deal that Johnson had intended, every single portion of his program can now be amended in Parliament with what ever shades of Brexit that MPs want to attach to it.
That implies that, all of a sudden, a so-known as Soft Brexit customs union arrangement is back on the table — potentially enticing a handful of moderates to switch their help from Johnson’s program.
The Democratic Unionist Celebration (DUP), which supposedly props up Johnson’s minority government but whose MPs have been left livid by the proposed installation of a customs border in the Irish Sea, have currently enacted revenge by pushing the Letwin amendment more than the line. They could now heap additional misery on the PM by backing a softer option program.
Also probably to emerge is one more longshot push for a second referendum, which Labour would be anticipated to back. That follows a march on Saturday that saw hundreds of thousands demand one more say.
Extension or no deal?
There is drama in Europe, also.
Immediately after claiming for weeks that he would by no means request a Brexit delay from the EU, even insisting he’d rather be “dead in a ditch,” Boris Johnson did just that on Saturday evening.
For all the bluster and theater more than photocopies, blank signatures and cover letters, that is the reality: Johnson sent a letter written for him by Parliament asking for a 3-month extension, and the EU received it.
Now, it rests with European leaders to make a decision the subsequent actions.
French President Emmanuel Macron has reprised his undesirable cop part, suggesting there is tiny require for a third extension to the method.
“I am not attempting to predict the future, but I do not assume we shall grant any additional delay,” Macron stated just after the deal was secured final week. “I think it is now time to place an finish to these negotiations and operate on the future partnership.”
And it may well be that the 27 leaders on the continent mimic that language in the coming days, hoping it will concentrate minds in London behind the new deal.
But need to Johnson’s pact fail to pass via Parliament, most would anticipate the EU to reluctantly acquiesce to the request and grant Britain a delay.
The Prime Minister may well nonetheless be smart to preserve one particular eye north of the border on Monday — as not for the initial time, a Scottish court hearing could scupper his plans additional.
Judges in the nation’s highest court will contemplate a case that sought to force Johnson to comply with the Benn Act, forcing him to submit an extension request. The case may well look a moot point now, provided that Johnson sent that request on Saturday evening, but some have questioned no matter whether he stuck to the spirit of the law by undermining his personal request.
With confusion in Parliament, intrigue in the courts and protests on the streets, Brexit appears a extended way from a conclusion.