Why Boris Johnson will go for a referendum

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If those wanting to Leave on the 31st Oct think its in the bag.......they not want to be overly confident (y)

Boris Johnson may be short on values, but he’s long on ambition and he’s smart. He will deeply want to avoid being the 100-day prime minister.

This desire will ultimately tie him into a referendum strategy. It will be between no deal versus Remain, and Remain would likely win. But like Johnson’s hero, Churchill, and unlike Thatcher, logic implies the gentleman is for turning.

Why? Because Johnson is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The immediate danger is Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party. Hence Johnson’s ultra-Brexit strategy. Farage will thrive if Johnson is weak on Brexit. To neutralise him, the Johnson no deal approach makes perfect sense (as Michael Gove understands), and has little to do with ‘bargaining’ with the EU.

But Johnson’s ultra-Brexit rhetoric makes him toxic to the Lib Dems and the SNP. Some 25 of the top 30 Lib Dem target seats in the next election are held by the Conservatives, whereas only five are held by Labour. Jo Swinson will likely make the Lib Dems a more attractive proposition. Johnson also stands to lose most of the 13 seats that Theresa May won in Scotland in 2017 from the SNP.

Against this, Johnson has to hope either to win Labour seats in the north—which is why he’s desperately trying to erase bitter feelings towards a decade of Conservative austerity. Or to hope Lib Dem anti-Corbyn votes push Labour seats in the south to the Conservatives. But weak-minded though Corbyn may be, Labour will surely now go for a ‘save the NHS’ plus referendum headline strategy to minimise both possibilities.

Johnson’s chance of an overall majority, even with DUP support, in an incipient general election is currently low. And there is a very real chance of him being pushed out by a rainbow coalition of Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and the Greens.

So come October, what will Johnson do? He could continue to refuse to negotiate with the EU unless they stand down the backstop, which they won’t. This is a completely sensible strategy to keep down Farage. He could loudly demand no deal while being unable to enact it because Parliament would block him.

He could also continue to rule out a general election, as—unless things have dramatically changed—this poses a serious risk to his survival as prime minister. A general election called in early October would bring about no deal by default and risk splitting the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems and SNP as beneficiaries.

So unfortunately, as he will put it, a referendum is the only option. Blocked by partisan MPs and EU intransigence, an ‘appeal to the Great British Public’ is his only responsible course.

Let’s look at why this makes sense. Johnson could almost certainly get majority for it in Parliament. He could (not wholly implausibly) say to the ERG that he has a real chance of winning it for no deal. And he has brilliantly given top jobs to second-raters who would otherwise have no chance of getting them, and who would therefore support him. Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP would also support the move, as would Government appointees and pro-Remain Conservatives.

Plus, the EU would give an extension to allow a referendum to take place, as they’ve more or less said.

Above all, Johnson would get to stay as prime minister regardless of the result. He’d hone the rhetoric if Remain won—that the Great British Public has decided—and celebrate the survival of the Union (open Stormont, guarantee the position of the Scottish Conservatives and prevent another Scottish referendum).

If no deal won, he’d be a hero of the Conservative Party. The Brexit Party would be dead post-referendum. If Remain won, Johnson’s bet would be that, with everything working smoothly and politics focusing again on serious issues, few would want to campaign for yet another referendum and the Brexit Party would become a minor protest party.

The result for Johnson would be that he could then focus on being a brilliant prime minister, at least until May 2022. He would have no worries about Farage, and Corbyn would likely to stay as Labour leader, only likely to get pushed out after a general election defeat.

Johnson could push through a raft of splendid policies with no concern about public sector debt. His focus could be solving the NHS, improving transport links, especially in North, and giving a massive boost to education and housing—all policies he’ll get cross-party support for

https://ukandeu.ac.uk/why-boris-johnson-will-go-for-a-referendum/
 
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Some interesting points there, but just a couple where I would disagree;

1. Regardless of what the Guardian constantly spouts, MPs cannot block a no-deal exit. The Letwin/Cooper nonsense will not be repeated. May was secretly glad of this attempt because if no-deal was legally binding, it would have got her out of a very difficut spot - "It wasn't me, I wanted to leave, it was MPs that stopped me". The only two ways MPs could prevent a no deal exit are to vote for a deal; or revoke A50. If a PM or cabinet is determined to go for no-deal, there is little Parliament can do.

2. I may well be wrong but I cannot see a second referendum -it would be even more divisive than the first, would take too long to hold (prob 6 months), would need an extension from the EU, there would be no agreement on the options, and voters could well not bother turning up as they would rightly think that as the first referendum was not acted on, why would Parliament act on a second if the result was still Leave?
(Interestingly, the EU criticised Erdogan in Turkey when he pushed for a re-run when he lost the election, but it's OK for us to have a second referendum; but of course the EU has form on this).

The additional time taken to organise a referendum would add further uncertainty to the economy - we have let this business drag on too long and MPs really need to get their act together and do what was required of them.
 
Just an additional point about an undemocratic second referendum.

Had remain won in 2016 by 52:48, we can be 100% sure that we would be staying in and the matter would quickly be dropped; there would be no big grouping of MPs determined to Leave and thereby traduce a democratic vote. We would all have moved on, except that Farage would probably be bubbling away in the background.
However, Leave won but MPs are determined to thwart this. If we now had a second referendum and Remain won by a similar narrow majority, we can be sure that would be the end of the matter - the drawbridge would be pulled and no further debate allowed.
So it would seem that Leave must win twice, while Remain need only win once. Therefore a Leave vote would only be worth half a Remain vote - how can that be democratic?
 
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s, MPs cannot block a no-deal exit
Yes that does seem to be the case.

https://www.instituteforgovernment....r-intent-no-deal-brexit-cant-be-stopped-mps-0

Thats assuming Boris doesnt put it to a vote.

A vote of no confidence is still possible.

if Boris wants to stay in power, he would have to manage the crisis that would follow a no deal Brexit -the economic shock and hold ups at borders would probably bring the government down.

The Boris no deal strategy is all about getting voters back from the Brexit party, nothing to do with what his plan is.
 
Had remain won in 2016 by 52:48, we can be 100% sure that we would be staying in and the matter would quickly be dropped; there would be no big grouping of MPs determined to Leave and thereby traduce a democratic vote. We would all have moved on, except that Farage would probably be bubbling away in the background.
That's because most people who know about these things think remaining is best for the country, while the leavers don't care what happens and just want to leave because they just want to leave.
 
If those wanting to Leave on the 31st Oct think its in the bag.......they not want to be overly confident (y)

Boris Johnson may be short on values, but he’s long on ambition and he’s smart. He will deeply want to avoid being the 100-day prime minister.

This desire will ultimately tie him into a referendum strategy. It will be between no deal versus Remain, and Remain would likely win. But like Johnson’s hero, Churchill, and unlike Thatcher, logic implies the gentleman is for turning.

Why? Because Johnson is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The immediate danger is Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party. Hence Johnson’s ultra-Brexit strategy. Farage will thrive if Johnson is weak on Brexit. To neutralise him, the Johnson no deal approach makes perfect sense (as Michael Gove understands), and has little to do with ‘bargaining’ with the EU.

But Johnson’s ultra-Brexit rhetoric makes him toxic to the Lib Dems and the SNP. Some 25 of the top 30 Lib Dem target seats in the next election are held by the Conservatives, whereas only five are held by Labour. Jo Swinson will likely make the Lib Dems a more attractive proposition. Johnson also stands to lose most of the 13 seats that Theresa May won in Scotland in 2017 from the SNP.

Against this, Johnson has to hope either to win Labour seats in the north—which is why he’s desperately trying to erase bitter feelings towards a decade of Conservative austerity. Or to hope Lib Dem anti-Corbyn votes push Labour seats in the south to the Conservatives. But weak-minded though Corbyn may be, Labour will surely now go for a ‘save the NHS’ plus referendum headline strategy to minimise both possibilities.

Johnson’s chance of an overall majority, even with DUP support, in an incipient general election is currently low. And there is a very real chance of him being pushed out by a rainbow coalition of Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and the Greens.

So come October, what will Johnson do? He could continue to refuse to negotiate with the EU unless they stand down the backstop, which they won’t. This is a completely sensible strategy to keep down Farage. He could loudly demand no deal while being unable to enact it because Parliament would block him.

He could also continue to rule out a general election, as—unless things have dramatically changed—this poses a serious risk to his survival as prime minister. A general election called in early October would bring about no deal by default and risk splitting the Conservatives, with the Lib Dems and SNP as beneficiaries.

So unfortunately, as he will put it, a referendum is the only option. Blocked by partisan MPs and EU intransigence, an ‘appeal to the Great British Public’ is his only responsible course.

Let’s look at why this makes sense. Johnson could almost certainly get majority for it in Parliament. He could (not wholly implausibly) say to the ERG that he has a real chance of winning it for no deal. And he has brilliantly given top jobs to second-raters who would otherwise have no chance of getting them, and who would therefore support him. Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP would also support the move, as would Government appointees and pro-Remain Conservatives.

Plus, the EU would give an extension to allow a referendum to take place, as they’ve more or less said.

Above all, Johnson would get to stay as prime minister regardless of the result. He’d hone the rhetoric if Remain won—that the Great British Public has decided—and celebrate the survival of the Union (open Stormont, guarantee the position of the Scottish Conservatives and prevent another Scottish referendum).

If no deal won, he’d be a hero of the Conservative Party. The Brexit Party would be dead post-referendum. If Remain won, Johnson’s bet would be that, with everything working smoothly and politics focusing again on serious issues, few would want to campaign for yet another referendum and the Brexit Party would become a minor protest party.

The result for Johnson would be that he could then focus on being a brilliant prime minister, at least until May 2022. He would have no worries about Farage, and Corbyn would likely to stay as Labour leader, only likely to get pushed out after a general election defeat.

Johnson could push through a raft of splendid policies with no concern about public sector debt. His focus could be solving the NHS, improving transport links, especially in North, and giving a massive boost to education and housing—all policies he’ll get cross-party support for

https://ukandeu.ac.uk/why-boris-johnson-will-go-for-a-referendum/
another referendum could backfire for the remainers unless they rig the question.
 
another referendum could backfire for the remainers unless they rig the question

Well maybe, Leave campaigners have a history of lying better and Leave voters believe them.

Most polls do show a remain majority, have done for some time.

If leavers were so sure about wjnning, they wouldnt be so scared by another referendum.
 
Some interesting points there, but just a couple where I would disagree;

1. Regardless of what the Guardian constantly spouts, MPs cannot block a no-deal exit. The Letwin/Cooper nonsense will not be repeated. May was secretly glad of this attempt because if no-deal was legally binding, it would have got her out of a very difficut spot - "It wasn't me, I wanted to leave, it was MPs that stopped me". The only two ways MPs could prevent a no deal exit are to vote for a deal; or revoke A50. If a PM or cabinet is determined to go for no-deal, there is little Parliament can do.

2. I may well be wrong but I cannot see a second referendum -it would be even more divisive than the first, would take too long to hold (prob 6 months), would need an extension from the EU, there would be no agreement on the options, and voters could well not bother turning up as they would rightly think that as the first referendum was not acted on, why would Parliament act on a second if the result was still Leave?
(Interestingly, the EU criticised Erdogan in Turkey when he pushed for a re-run when he lost the election, but it's OK for us to have a second referendum; but of course the EU has form on this).

The additional time taken to organise a referendum would add further uncertainty to the economy - we have let this business drag on too long and MPs really need to get their act together and do what was required of them.

Interesting points but do you want to address the Rusian influence, laws broken, criminal offences by the leave campaign and the current recelations that Cambridge Analytica did work for the leave campaign and who funded Aaron Banks?

Why is banks not suing the news outlets but going after the investigative journalist Carole Cadwaldr?

The vote was non binding.
 
What is more worrying is that every leaver has been exposed to more data about the consequences of leaving but they have been brainwashed into rejecting that, this is dangerous.
 
That's because most people who know about these things think remaining is best for the country, while the leavers don't care what happens and just want to leave because they just want to leave.
Oh, is that the "better-educated" card?
 
Oh, is that the "better-educated" card?

Better informed card. You can debate better educated but take a sample of leavers and quitters and ask them about facts of the EU - who would you think would get more of the facts correct? Straight bananas anyone?
 
If leavers were so sure about wjnning, they wouldnt be so scared by another referendum.

Personally I'm not sure that Leavers would be scared by a 2nd ref, it's more to do with upholding a democratic result; it's not democracy to hold a second referendum before the first has been implemented.
A second referendum would send the wrong message to the rest of the world about our 'democracy'. It would also be very hard-fought - sure, there were lies and mistruths on both sides (were Leavers really that influenced by the Bus?) but next time round it would be far worse.
 
Better informed card. You can debate better educated but take a sample of leavers and quitters and ask them about facts of the EU - who would you think would get more of the facts correct? Straight bananas anyone?

If facts are what is wanted, there is no democracy in the EU itself, ref. the latest shenanigans in Brussels.
It is a fact that the euro has crippled the southern states with high youth unemployement; and as for Italy, when its banks go belly-up, we will be on the hook for at least £200bn in the ensuing bailout, even though we arenot in the eurozone.
 
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