A lot of Conservative MPs are making big claims about bringing down the government if they try to pursue a WTO Brexit. I say: call their bluff. They won’t do it. As soon Boris becomes PM (assuming he does), he needs to lay down the law: this is what is happening.
The Brexiteers who threatened a no confidence vote turned out to be bluffing. May knew that, and that’s why she never gave them anything. The Remainers who are now saying it are also bluffing, far more so than the Brexiteers, because they know they will almost certainly lose their seats. More than that, they will lose whatever ability they had to prevent Brexit, because as non-MPs they will be powerless. They don’t really want an early election; what they really want is to use the threat of one to get their way.
(The only one who isn’t bluffing is Ken Clarke, because he’s on his last legs and has clearly had enough.)
I really do think that the Tory Remainers think that the game is not up, and they can turn things around in two years, so they are going to cling on to Parliament for dear life. So ignore their threats.
Anyway, if you start trying to placate those who threaten the vote of no-confidence, you just encourage them. They need to be told to get in behind the party, or face deselection. If there is to be an early election, so be it. Don’t show weakness, it just gives them ideas.
Not that Boris would do anything like this, though. Sure he’s got more backbone than the average Tory MP, but he’s no Trump. That’s another reason why the Tories have no future. The number of them with a spine wouldn’t even form a cricket team. And the vaunted members couldn’t even manage to deselect David Gauke yesterday, one of the key fake Brexit men. If the Tories had a future they’d have deselected dozens of the traitors by now, but there has been depressingly few such cases. (Technically speaking they haven’t even deselected anyone. There have votes of no confidence, which in practice may amount to the same thing, and Boles, Soubry et al walked before they were pushed, but no-one has yet officially been deselected.)
What is perhaps more likely than a no-confidence vote leading to an early election is a no-confidence vote leading to an attempt to cobble together a Remainer coalition government. It’s hard to see anything like that holding together for long, though, and hopefully not long enough for Labour to push through their own surrender document.