Are we getting closer to Brexit, or is it rouse?
Can Johnson get his deal through Parliament by October 31st or will Parliament drag every single item through the house?
Will the Scottish Courts rule Johnson break the law again or did he do enough to satisfy the Benn Law?
And will John Bercow leave on the 31st as he has stated, or will he stay on to see Brexit through?
We are clearly in the final throes of Brexit, at least this round of it. The market has been bullish on a deal happening sometime in the next week or 3 months having seen the GBP/USD appreciate 7% in the past week alone.
Here are the events driving this appreciation.
Brexit: Where are we are this week
- The Government Bill that it hopes will lead to the implementation of its Brexit deal has been introduced. There is plenty of noise here and enough of it could see Parliament scuttling Johnson time horizons, as there are several MPs complaining that three days is not enough time to properly scrutinize the draft legislation and some have even gone as far as to suggest the amount of time is ‘an attempt to prevent proper scrutiny.’
- The Prime Minister was denied the opportunity to hold a second vote as House Speaker, John Bercow once again caught the government off guard ruling that it would be “repetitive and disorderly”. Bercow’s reasoning was that it would break longstanding conventions – not surprising considering the first vote was no more than two days since Saturday’s historic sitting.
- statement from House Speak Bercow: “Today’s motion is in substance the same as Saturday’s motion, and the house has decided the matter. Today’s circumstances are in substance the same as Saturday’s circumstances.
- Whenever the vote comes Johnson must be feeling more confident as ‘Soft’ Brexit Tory MPs and independents are resisting attaching a customs union to withdrawal agreement bill that Labour appears to want. Several Conservative MPs and former Tories, most of whom backed the idea of a ‘customs union’ in the past, suggested on as late as Tuesday they would prefer support Johnson’s deal rather than reopen visit it. Damian Green, the leader of the One Nation caucus, and Oliver Letwin, someone that has been heavily involved in the parliamentary fight against a ‘hard’ Brexit, indicated they would back Johnson’s deal without the need for a customs union.
- Johnson has also flirted with ‘violating’ the Benn Law which implored him to send a letter to the EU requesting a further extension by not signing it. However, the ‘unconventional’ extension request is irrelevant according to the EU, with Germany’s economic affairs minister Peter Altmaier stating; “it goes without saying” that a further Brexit delay would be granted. Altmaier a key ally of Angela Merkel, stated Tuesday that either a ‘technical extension’ to allow extra time for legislation to pass, or a ‘longer period to accommodate a general election or second referendum’ would be offered. This show Germany and France are on similar footing when it comes to Brexit after French President Emmanuel Macron last week state that he was more comfortable with Brexit’s ‘translation’.
- The EU might be ok with the ‘unconventional’ extension request letter however Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway is not. He has rejected a call from the government to cease examining whether Boris Johnson broke the Benn Law by ‘sabotaging’ the request for a Brexit extension through not signing it and sending a second letter stating he would get the deal done by 31st of October – a letter he did sign. Lord Carloway stated he would continue investigating if Downing Street complied with the act in full and until they would see the case remaining open.
- However, Johnson has lost 10 seats he needed to pass his bill after the Democratic Unionist Party rejected his amendments and stated it will not support the current bill. He will, therefore, need to find 13 MPs willing to vote for his Brexit bill which is why it is probably still too close to call.
The next seven days will be some of the busiest in the Brexit-era even with the PM hitting ‘pause’. I will be holding a second Brexit webinar on Wednesday, October 30 at 7 pm AEDT. Hope to see you there.
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