MPs take control? – autumn 2019

Before the suspension of Parliament in September 2019, UK MPs were able to take control of the agenda and come together in a rare alliance that passed emergency legislation requiring Johnson to get a new deal by October 19  or request an extension to the Brexit deadline of October 31.

The prime minister said he would not request an extension and would rather “die in a ditch” – his words.

Given his actions since being elected he was expected to seek any way possible to avoid complying with the law – ignoring it, challenging it in court, resigning, calling an election, even getting an apparent new deal. 

He also tried to get Parliamentary approval for an election – needed because of the UK’s recent law on fixed 5-year term parliaments – and failed twice.

Opposition parties and even some senior members of his own Conservative party suspect he would use an election to avoid challenges to leaving the EU on October 31.

In his campaign to win the Conservative party leadership Johnson promised to take the country out of the EU by the Brexit deadline, with or without a deal.

After winning the leadership vote by 160,000 Conservative party members he ramped up preparations for no deal with an extra two billion pounds funding, put his pro-Brexit referendum sidekick Michael Gove in charge of that, appointed the controversial pro-Brexit referendum campaign strategist Dominic Cummings as his senior adviser, and appointed a strongly pro-Brexit and right wing cabinet.

He claimed he was making every effort to get a new deal with the EU although for the first weeks of his premiership he flatly refused to talk with the EU unless and until they changed their position on having an Irish backstop.
Then he finally sent his new representative to Brussels for regular talks. The EU consistently said they had received no new workable proposals.

Parliament blocks no deal Brexit 
Johnson willing to break the law
Johnson seeks to avoid the law
Johnson seeks election
Johnson through American eyes
Johnson refuses to talk with EU
Snapshot of one afternoon in UK politics