Newswise — Britain’s departure from the European Union, commonly known as Brexit, won’t be happening anytime soon, if at all.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost a key Parliamentary vote Sept. 3, with 21 members of his own Conservative Party joining the opposition Labour Party in halting plans to leave the EU by the Oct. 31 deadline.
Tulane University political scientist Mark Vail said Johnson’s loss of a vote and the government’s resulting loss of legislative initiative to Parliament “carries with it serious and worrying implications for the Brexit process, his party and his country.
“By flouting both decades of political precedent and the provisions of Britain's unwritten constitution by suspending Parliament and attempting to force through a bill that served only his own ambition and political nihilism, Johnson has both shown his contempt for the traditions of consensus central to British politics and further undermined the public's faith in Britain's political institutions,” Vail said.
“Even as he moved to expel dissident Tory MPs from the Parliamentary party and move to call a snap election, both designed to consolidate power in his hands, Johnson ironically seemed to make a no-deal Brexit less likely. A new election — though likely not on Johnson's terms — now seems likely, and its results stand a good chance of destroying his working majority and even ending his government prematurely.
“As is often the case with those who wish to burn everything down, Johnson is likely to be singed in the effort, even as he does perhaps irreparable damage to his party and to British democracy more generally."
Vail is a professor of political science in the Tulane School of Liberal Arts and the Murphy Institute for Political Economy. He is an expert on western European politics and is available to speak with the media regarding Brexit and UK politics.