You can lead a horse to water but you cannot force the horse to drink.

The same applies to the Benn act which allegedly forces Johnson to seek an extension.

Allegedly is the key word. It is debatable for the simple reason the bill is constitutionally illegal.

Even if deemed legal, the Guardian Live Blog notes that France has threatened to veto the request.

Guardian News Synopsis

  1. The French government has threatened to veto a further Brexit extension due to the “worrying” lack of progress in the recent talks. The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, highlighted the lack of realistic proposals being put forward by Downing Street.
  2. Boris Johnson has moved quickly to replace Rudd as work and pension secretary by giving the job to Therese Coffey. Coffey, who backed remain, is a former environment minister.
  3. John Mann, has confirmed he is standing down as a Labour MP to take up the full-time post as the government’s antisemitism tsar. In his resignation letter he claimed Jeremy Corbyn was the only block to Labour winning a landslide victory at the next election.
  4. Sajid Javid has refused to rule out an electoral pact with the Brexit party at the next election. Asked repeatedly about the idea he would only say: “We don’t need an electoral alliance with anyone.”
  5. Javid and the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, have insisted the government will obey the law on Brexit. But in separate interviews neither could spell out how the government could leave on 31 October without a deal and abide by the Benn bill, which instructs it to seek an extension in such a scenario.
  6. The Conservatives will field a candidate against the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, at the next general election, according to Andrea Leadsom. The business secretary revealed the move, a breach of longstanding convention, as she stepped up her feud with Bercow, accusing him of breaking the rules of parliament by allowing MPs to take control of Commons business.
  7. Angela Smith has become the third MP in a week to defect to the Liberal Democrats. The move, by the former Labour and then Change UK MP, bumps up the number of Lib Dems in the Commons to 17.

My Comments

Despite the threats, I do not trust France. Johnson either needs to avoid submitting an extension request or concocting a scheme that the EU cannot accept.

John Mann quitting the Labour Pary will not get much press but it is significant.

Mann wrote "I am not prepared to the ask Bassetlaw residents to support Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister … I will not lie to the Bassetlaw voters about Corbyn, whose failures over antisemitism and sexual harassment are even worse than his useless leadership onBrexit.

Anybody who has knocked on doors in Bassetlaw knows that there is only one obstacle to Labour winning what should be a landslide at the election and that barrier is Jeremy Corbyn. I have therefore again asked him to resign in order to let the party win power."

Many will no doubt point out the numerous Tory resignations vs this one for Labour.

However, the Tory purge gets numerous Johnson problems out of the way. In contrast, we have a Labour MP stating Corbyn himself is the problem.

OK, supposedly that's just one. However, numerous polls say the same thing.

Corbyn is the Problem

The Telegraph reports Student Support for Labour Plummets to Four-Year Low.

Politico reports that UK voters favor no-deal Brexit over Jeremy Corbyn as PM.

Just 18 percent of voters back the leader of the opposition to become prime minister.

Voters are more opposed to the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister, than Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, according to exclusive polling for POLITICO.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's "do or die" pledge on Brexit is striking a chord with many voters, who now back a return to the ballot box in a general election to break the political impasse.

UK General Election Polls

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These polls are all over the place.

Believe what you want, but this is a better perspective.

UK General Election Poll Trends

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Labour and the the Liberal Democrats are hopelessly split.The Brexit Party and the Tories are converging.

As noted earlier today (also see link below), Chancellor Javid refused to rule out a Tory Party alliance with the Brexit Party.

If needed to win, it is certain that there will be such an alliance.


This is why the Remainers are desperate to prevent an election now despite Labour having asked for one repeatedly over the past couple of years.

Royal Assent

If Johnson allows for Royal Assent (legalizing the Benn Bill) it will only be for reasons we do not yet fully understand. The Bill requiring Johnson to ask for a Brexit extension is illegal.

For details, please see Boris Johnson to "Test Legal Limits", Amber Rudd Resigns, Javid Interview

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Brexit Collusion Between France and UK? What Really Happened?

A reader asks if there was collusion between French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

France Threatens to Not Extend Brexit Talks: Conditional Extension Recap

France appears willing to not grant any extension to Brexit unless there is a specific reason. The threat seems genuine.

France Says Brexit "Pressure Must Be Maintained"

Boris Johnson has found an EU ally at last. France appears to be holding firm.

Odds of Brexit Deal Rise as 2 Most Recent UK Polls Show Lib Dems vs Labour Split

The strategies of Labour and the Lib Dems show they will split the Remain vote. This greatly enhances the odds of a deal

In Wake of Brexit, EU Will Cave In to UK Once Again

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took a firm stance today as expected from the beginning in this corner.

Amusing Poll on Brexit Preferences

There is still no majority support for anything. Some will never be happy no matter what happens.

Brexit Party Soars in European Parliament Polls, 9 Points Ahead of Labour

Nigel Farage's newly formed Brexit Party is in first place in European Parliament polls, pulling well ahead of Labour.

Meaninglessness of Brexit Extension Confirmed by Dec 12 Election

Boris Johnson accepted a Brexit extension offer to January 31 but the extension is now officially meaningless.

Johnson Threatens to Pull Withdrawal Bill if His Timetable Not Agreed

A meaningful vote is coming up. Boris Johnson appears to have the votes. He is open to a short but not long extension.