Boris Johnson May But Get Brexit Accomplished: Counting the Votes

(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson will discover out Tuesday night whether or not he can muster a majority within the Home of Commons to assist his Brexit deal. Even when he does, it will not be sufficient to get the settlement by Parliament by his Oct. 31 deadline.

Having twice been denied a vote on whether or not lawmakers assist his deal, Johnson has launched the Withdrawal Settlement Invoice, which might implement the deal in legislation, and plans to push it by Parliament at a breakneck tempo. His second of fact will come at round 7 p.m. in London, with what’s generally known as the Second Studying vote — on whether or not Parliament agrees with the final rules of the invoice.

He wants to steer 61 Members of Parliament to again his deal. It seems like he has 64, based mostly on what lawmakers have stated during the last week. Right here’s our tally of what number of seem like they may assist his deal.

Nonetheless, his plan to fast-track the laws by Parliament is extra controversial. Even lawmakers who assist his deal have expressed concern in regards to the lack of time it supplies for correct scrutiny. If he doesn’t go that hurdle, he may nonetheless ship Brexit — simply not in time for his deadline.

Based mostly on what MPs have stated over the previous couple of days, it seems like Johnson will get nearer to a majority than he did on Saturday — the place he misplaced by 322 to 306 — however nonetheless not make it over the road.

Now for the well being warning. This evaluation is essentially imprecise: MPs can and do change their minds. Some are protecting their playing cards near their chest.

Right here’s how the numbers break down:

Johnson’s Goal: 320

As soon as non-voting MPs are accounted for, Johnson wants 320 MPs on his facet to win any vote within the Home of Commons.

Could’s Baseline: 259

The final time Theresa Could tried to get her deal by, in March, she had the assist of 279 Conservatives. They’re largely more likely to again a Johnson deal too, however there are some issues.

Johnson expelled a gaggle of MPs from the social gathering in September after they backed laws blocking a no-deal Brexit. They have been joined by Amber Rudd, who resigned in sympathy. Additionally out of the social gathering is Nick Boles, who give up the Conservatives earlier this 12 months in frustration on the Brexit impasse.

In consequence there are query marks towards 19 former Tories who beforehand backed Could’s deal. On high of that quantity, one deal-backing Conservative, Chris Davies, misplaced his seat to a Liberal Democrat in a recall election.

That leaves Johnson 61 votes quick. The place can he go?

‘Gaukeward Squad’: 19

The expelled Tories, who take their identify from former Justice Secretary David Gauke, are temperamentally loyalists — some had by no means voted towards their social gathering earlier than September. A lot of them are on the lookout for a method again in — together with Gauke.

In Saturday’s vote, seven of the Gaukeward Squad went towards Johnson, however virtually all made it clear they have been able to again his deal. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond nonetheless appears unsure, however Johnson appears to have the huge bulk with him.

Democratic Unionist Celebration: 10

Johnson labored arduous to attempt to hold Northern Eire’s DUP engaged, however they’ve come out firmly towards the brand new deal. They’ve deep reservations about something that creates any type of border between Britain and Northern Eire and need a stronger consent mechanism that fingers a larger say to the regional meeting.

They appear to have failed of their efforts to steer Tories to vote towards the deal, however on Saturday, they inflicted defeat on Johnson by voting towards him, and so they look able to do it once more.

The Spartans: 28

The self-titled “Spartans” are Conservative MPs who refused to vote for Could’s deal. They selected their identify to recall the fearsome Historical Greek warriors who held off a numerically superior Persian power on the Battle of Thermopylae.

When Johnson turned prime minister, the Spartans have been adamant they opposed something however essentially the most minimal Brexit settlement. However in current weeks they’ve begun to see the virtues of compromise. That is the results of the Benn Act, laws that goals to stop the U.Ok. leaving on Oct. 31 until Johnson has reached a deal. It’s made the Spartans worry dropping Brexit altogether.

On Saturday, Johnson had the assist of the entire Spartans, with their chief Steve Baker providing MPs assurances of their good intentions in an effort to spice up assist for Johnson. That doesn’t essentially imply they may all vote for his deal, however the prime minister ought to be moderately assured he has their assist so long as he doesn’t let his deal get rewritten.

Labour: 31

Could pinned her hopes on successful the assist of a big minority of MPs from the opposition Labour Celebration who consider the 2016 referendum outcome should be honored. She struggled to get greater than 5 to vote along with her, however 15 who didn’t again her final time joined some who did in signing a letter this month urging the EU to do a deal. Which may suggest a dedication to vote for such an settlement.

In opposition to that’s the worry of retribution from their social gathering in the event that they achieve this. Chief Jeremy Corbyn and his crew sense that defeating Johnson’s deal is a key step on their path to beating him at an election. Others within the social gathering see defeating a deal as important to securing one other referendum.

A legislation unto herself is Kate Hoey, a fierce supporter of Brexit but additionally an MP with Northern Irish roots, who stated she is going to oppose the deal. Since Johnson introduced his plan, some Labour MPs who beforehand made pro-Brexit noises have began to return out of the woodwork, so we’ve elevated the variety of potential Labour votes by 10.

Saturday noticed six Labour MPs voting with Johnson, and three extra abstaining. He wants extra, however a minimum of three extra have promised to assist his deal.

Independents: 5

4 unbiased MPs backed Could’s deal in March. A fifth, John Woodcock, may also be tempted. He voted with Johnson on Saturday. However Sylvia Hermon, who backed Could’s deal, represents a Northern Irish seat and is against Johnson’s deal.

Different MPs: 2

Two doable supporters defy categorization. Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, who’s stepping down on the subsequent election, represents a seat that voted to depart the EU and has been essential of his social gathering’s anti-Brexit stance. On Saturday he stated he was towards Johnson’s deal. In higher information for the prime minister, his brother Jo, an opponent of Brexit, voted with him on Saturday.

The Joker

If it involves a tie, Speaker John Bercow has a casting vote. It’s not clear how he would train it.

(Updates all through reflecting upcoming Tuesday votes.)

–With help from Kitty Donaldson and Jessica Shankleman.

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Hutton in London at [email protected];Greg Ritchie in London at [email protected]

To contact the editors chargeable for this story: Tim Ross at [email protected], ;Heather Harris at [email protected], Greg Ritchie, Edward Evans

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©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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