Writing About GE2019: the Dark is Rising

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 12th December 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

Exit polls can be wrong. But not that wrong.

This is, give or take a few in either direction, what the next Parliament is going to look like:

Conservatives: 368
Labour: 191
SNP: 55
Liberal Democrats: 13
Plaid Cymru: 3
Greens: 1
The Brexit Party Limited: 0
Plus 18 Northern Irish MPs and 1 Speaker.

Boris Johnson has run a successful disinformation campaign, and got his 40+ majority. This could be up to 20 seats wrong in either direction, but that doesn’t make a lot of difference to our future over the next seven weeks or so.

Tuesday/Wednesday 17th/18th – MPs sworn in.
Thursday 19th: Queen’s Speech
Friday 20th: Queen’s Speech debate and vote
Over Saturday 21st / Monday 23rd: introduction of Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill and swift passage through First and Second Reading and committee stage.

This is the timetable Boris Johnson said he would put in action when he won a majority: I see no reason to suppose he won’t implement it. He has a 40+ majority and every reason to have his MPs vote for his Withdrawal Agreement without scrutiny before they have a chance to think about it, hear from their constituents, or even talk abut it amongst themselves. I do not expect any Tory rebels. All of them signed a pledge to back Boris’s deal in order to be selected.

I’d be happy to be wrong. But I don’t think I am.

After committee stage in the Commons, the Withdrawal Agreement bill passes to the Lords. The Lords may scrutinise it more thoroughly than the Commons has been allowed to, but constitutionally, they don’t have much choice about passing it: it is a manifesto committment by a party with a large Commons majority.

This means the UK will leave the EU on or before 31st January, and plans should be made for a posible no deal Brexit on 31st December 2020. There’s really nothing to stop Boris Johnson now.

Indyref2 will take place before the end of 2020. You’re welcome to join us in Scotland.

I anticipate a unified Ireland before the next general election, which is now due in May 2024 – unless Johnson uses his majority to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act, which he well might.

This has not been a good night, and the Dark is rising.

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