Um… wtf was that, Boris?
Boris Johnson gave a speech at 18:00 outside Downing Street that appeared to be announcing nothing, leaving everyone asking: What the fuck was that!? Allow me to tell you what the fuck that was.
Boris announced last week that he planned to shut down (or prorogue) parliament sometime between the 9th and the 12th September to allow for a Queen’s speech on the 14th setting out his agenda. At least that’s why he said he was closing it. In reality, he’s doing it to give MPs only 4 days after parliament comes back from its summer break tomorrow (Tuesday 3rd) to pass a law to block a no-deal Brexit. Even simple bills usually take several weeks to pass through both Houses of Parliament.
An alliance of MPs will vote on Tuesday whether to take over the agenda of the House of Commons to allow them to put any law they want to a vote. They are proposing a bill that states that if no Brexit deal has been reached by the 19th October, then the government has to ask for an extension to Brexit until 31st July 2020, unless parliament decides to vote for a no-deal. With me so far? No? Too bad.
Boris has already threatened to deselect Tory MPs who vote for this law, meaning that they won’t be able to stand in the next election, meaning he’ll be able to replace any anti-Boris MPs with pro-Boris MPs.
Today, the Westminster rumour mill was alive with reports that he was going to announce an election today. He called an emergency cabinet meeting at 17:00, invited all of the Tory MPs over for a drinks party and then took their phones off of them, and announced a press conference at 18:00.
In the speech, he told us that he didn’t want an election and that as long as he was in charge, we would be leaving the EU on the 31st of October. If that anti-no deal bill passes, the only way he’d be able to leave then would be if parliament votes it through. To do that, Boris needs more MPs on his side.
Soooooo, that speech was Boris saying “if that bill passes, I will hold a general election.” And that’s what the fuck that was.
P.S: As I was typing this, government officials have translated that speech from Boris to English. If MPs vote to block no deal, there will be a general election on the 14th of October. Buckle up.