Post by Roger Post by James Hammerton
First, since he has sent the Benn Act letter and the EU has accepted,
the EU could agree to the extension, or propose a longer or shorter
extension in which case Johnson either accepts the proposal or has to
ask Parliament to decide.
The 'EU', or to be precise a single member state, could decide not to give an extension.
True, but ISTM more likely they will grant an extension than not.
OK, but the stakes are high. Cross your fingers and hope it all goes well?
Post by Roger
They have indicated they will not give a quick answer.
Naturally they want to see how well things go with the deal in
Parliament for the moment.
That's not the only issue. Other countries are using this as lever, for example to obtain concessions in dragging their heels over Euro integration, trying to block Albanias entry to the EU etc, etc.
Agreed there's a risk of that, but if the EU were to come back e.g. next
Monday and say they accept the extension (or propose a different
extension) Johnson is bound by law to accept it or in the case of the
different extension, let Parliament decide.
That will depend on whether his deal has passed, the scope of the Benn act is avoiding a no deal, not obtaining an extension per se.
Post by Roger
It cannot do that, it cannot ratify a deal that has not been made.
Strictly speaking you're correct.
However it can amend the legislation the government puts forward - this
will cause the deal to fall if the amendments alter the deal, but if the
EU grant the extension as above it keeps the whole process on the road
for, well who knows how much longer...
Or put another way it blocks the deal and the process starts from scratch. You cannot ratify a deal by changing it, it's a contradiction in terms.
More to the point it completely changes the whole nature of the deal. Boris's deal was mostly Mays deal without the backstop; remaining in the CU is something completely different.
Of course if you went to the EU and said we'll take BJ's deal but remain in the CU they would accept it like a shot; the UK would become a colony of the EU, obliged to accept it's rules and laws, subject to it's jurisdiction, but with no say in the legislature!
Obviously such a deal would require a completely different approach, especially in the area of arbitration. AFAIK Labour to date have not actually made anything more than vague indications of how they would like their CU deal to be. I suspect no definitive proposal exists at all.
Given Johnson's deal wasn't renegotiated from scratch (essentially it
took May's deal and modified arrangements) I don't see why that couldn't
happen with Parliament insisting on a CU.
See above, all BJ's deal is Mays without the backstop. Mays deal envisaged the UK remaining in the CU for a short period and so made no provisions on how to manage that. The reason parliament rejected Mays deal en masse was because there was a risk the UK could be stuck in the CU with NO arrangements made to deal with this. They do not exist.
As for the majority, you might be right that there isn't a majority for
a CU, but I'm not sure I'd rule it out if the opposition parties,
ex-Tories got together as before as a wrecking measure on the deal.
Tories who didn't accept Mays deal because of the backstop would vote for a CU?
This Parliament seems to be opposed to a GE at this time. The next
scheduled one is in 2022.
Parliament is opposed because Johnson would get his majority. Once the 31st has passed, whatever the outcome, he may as well resign and force an election....there is no alternative majority, they have already tried to form one. Once in public view before parliament reconvened, twice more behind closed doors.