Fingerpointing and name-calling insults are the order of the day in the UK parliament as the Bill to Stop No-Deal Passes by Majority of 29.

Summary

  • The vote to have a vote passed yesterday by a margin of 328 to 301, with 21 Tories (now ex-Tories) voting against the government.
  • The vote today was 329 to 300.
  • Tory Dame Caroline Spelman voted for passage on a "three line whip" but will retain party membership as Johnson considers yesterday's vote a vote of confidence but not today's. This makes little sense to me.
  • Boris Johnson will open the debate holding an early election in the Commons this evening.
  • The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has said Labour and other opposition parties have yet to decide when they might support Boris Johnson’s call for an election, saying this would only happen when they were certain that no-deal Brexit on 31 October had been blocked.
  • McDonnell's statement: "We want to get the legislation secure, with royal assent, but we’re also not going to be tricked or conned, so we’re looking at every way in which, having secured the legislation, that he can’t wriggle out of abusing by the law."
  • At the moment there’s nothing that Johnson has done in recent weeks that gives us the confidence that he’s going to abide by the law.
  • When asked about Johnson, Trump replied "He’s a friend of mine, and he’s going at it, there’s no question about it … Boris knows how to win. Don’t worry about him."
  • A judge at the highest court in Scotland has found Boris Johnson’s planned prorogation of parliament lawful, the Press Association is reporting. Legal action aimed at preventing the UK government suspending parliament ahead of the Brexit deadline of 31 October was considered at the court of session in Edinburgh.

Epic Filibustering Attempt Coming Up

  • The Remainer hope is to get the bill passed in the House of Lords by 5:00 PM Friday. Debate starts tomorrow.
  • A filibuster attempt is certain but the outcome is uncertain.
  • Peers are debating a business motion tabled by Labour designed to ensure that, if the Benn bill intended to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October goes to the Lords tomorrow, it can clear all its stages by 5pm on Friday.
  • A business motion is needed because in the Lords bills are not subject to programme motions, meaning in theory debates can go on forever. The Liberal Democrats support the business motion and so, given that the Tories do not have a majority, it should pass.
  • But before peers get to vote on it they will have to debate the amendments to the business motion. On today’s order paper (pdf) there are 86 of them. In the Lords every amendment normally gets debated, and peers are normally free to speak for as long as they want, making it filibustering heaven.
  • The only way to fast-track a vote is to move a closure motion. But even these take time, because peers first have to vote for the closure motion, and then vote for the amendment. So, in theory, 86 amendments could translated into 172 votes.

Shaving Kit Needed

Early Elections?

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Things Really Getting Screwy

MPs agree amendment to Benn bill to put cross-party version of May's deal back on table.

This amendment would set out as the purpose of seeking an extension under article 50(3) TEU the passage of a withdrawal agreement bill based on the outcome of the inter-party talks which concluded in May 2019.

This means that, if the PM needs to request an article 50 extension (because he has not negotiated a new deal, and MPs have not voted to approve a no-deal Brexit), then getting an extension to pass a version of the Theresa May deal becomes government policy.

Effectively, that means that any Brexit delay would not be a blind delay; it would be a delay to enable a version of the Theresa May going through. It is not clear whether this has passed by accident - or as a result of some cunning plot.

May's Deal Back in Play?

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Graeme Cowie is a Commons Library Clerk. If he doesn't know, who does?

Here is the amendment EUROPEAN UNION (WITHDRAWAL) (No. 6) BILL

Unless it passes an actual vote, it will be meaningless after the next election. It is unclear if this is a mistake, and if so by whom.

Boris Johnson's Speech

“Today [parliament] has voted to stop, to scupper any serious negotiations,” he says. Adds that the purpose of the Benn bill is to take away the right of this country to determine how long it wants to stay in the EU and to hand it to the EU.

“Under any circumstances this country will leave the EU on October 31,” he says.

He calls again for an election on October 15.

“I think it’s very sad that MP’s have voted like this, I do, I think It’s a great dereliction of their duty.”

Brexit Pact With Nigel Farage Coming Up

Nigel Farage, the Brexit party leader, has welcomed the news that Steve Baker, the new chair of the powerful European Research Group caucus in the Conservative party, favours a pact with the Brexit party if there is an early election.

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Really Screwing It Up

Arj Singh is Deputy Political Editor for the Huffington Post UK.

Clearly, this man cannot think.

Johnson is doing everything possible to gain the trust of Nigel Farage.

UK Election Polls

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Those polls are unchanged from yesterday.

Tories stand to lose 13 seats or so in Scotland to the Liberal Democrats.

They would have to make that up elsewhere. I believe they would, easily, if the Brexit Party and the Tories align.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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