If Boris Johnson tries to deliver on his promise of a no deal Brexit on Halloween then a parliamentary vote of no confidence seems inevitable
‘Never trust anybody who spells gonorrhoea correctly on the first attempt’ is a maxim that has served me well in life, I might revise that maxim to ‘Never trust anybody who says a no deal Brexit will be fine.’ I suspect many MPs are also guided by the latter maxim.
If Boris Johnson does attempt to take the country out of the EU without a deal (and in contradiction to his claims during the 2016 referendum campaign) then I expect Parliament will seize control of the process, just like they did in March to prevent a no deal Brexit. The difference between March 2019 and October 2019 is that we are likely to have a Prime Minister who, unlike Theresa May, is convinced of the merits of a no deal Brexit.
Indeed Boris Johnson has hinted he would ignore the will of the Parliament. So what happens next? It feels pretty much nailed on Parliament will VONC Boris Johnson attempts to become a pound shop Charles I if he tries to prorogue Parliament or ignores the will of Parliament.
I think Parliament would have to take control of the Brexit process by ousting a no dealer Prime Minister and replacing them with someone who isn’t a supporter of no deal, that means a vote of no confidence (VONC) and exploiting the the 14 day period to choose a new Prime Minister under the Fixed-Term Parliament Act.
The other aspect to this is that isn’t just anti no dealers who could VONC a Boris Johnson government. If man attempts to sell out Northern Ireland then it isn’t hard to see the DUP wanting to get rid of the twice divorced Boris Johnson.
The DUP value the future of the United Kingdom a higher priority than Brexit thus the DUP will not risk the Union just so Boris Johnson’s life becomes easier.
Of course there’s also the possibility that the ERG might VONC Boris Johnson like never before if he doesn’t deliver Brexit on Halloween. Many epithets can be applied to Boris Johnson but consistency and principles are not adjectives you’d associate with Mr Johnson, having resigned from the cabinet because of Mrs May’s deal he ultimately voted for Mrs May’s deal.
My view is that we will we see a Parliamentary VONC sometime this year, the only question is it before Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister or after. Only a planned general election might be the only way to stop the first successful Parliamentary VONC since 1979, so I’m taking the 3/10 on Yes that Paddy Power are offering. The attractiveness of this bet is enhanced is that this bet pays out once a VONC occurs, it isn’t dependent on it being a successful VONC.