The one thing that does worry me about Boris providing any signal that he has given up on his idea of getting a deal, and is preparing some way around the legislation that’s supposed to stop No Deal, is that it may galvanise the Remainers to vote against the government in a confidence vote and then install their own interim leader who can go to the EU and request an extension. That’s why it’s a bad idea to let Parliament come back before Oct 31. The closer we get to Oct 31 and the more it looks like No Deal will triumph, the more desperate the Remainers will get, and they’ll stop at nothing in that scenario, and I expect they will vote the government down at that point.
It may be that Johnson and Cummings figure that if that happens the new Remainer alliance won’t last long beyond Oct 31, so there’ll be an early election before too long, and as the populace will have been alienated badly by these antics, the Tories will romp in. Maybe. But it’s not guaranteed. And what if the EU and the new PM agree an extension of a year? Or two years? We need to get out of the EU ASAP. (I’ve been saying that since June 24, 2016: get out ASAP before the anti-Brexit forces can work out ways to stop it).
The best way to get out now is to prorogue Parliament until Nov 1. The only reason Johnson didn’t is because he wanted to come back to Parliament with a crappy deal in mid-October. But that move has failed, as it was always going to. The EU will never agree anything new in such a short space of time with Parliament in such chaos. Only bad things can happen in those last few weeks if this Parliament – a Parliament full of liars and cheats – is allowed to sit. (And Johnson’s already had the full blast of ‘coup’ claims thrown at him, and they didn’t work, so more of that won’t do much damage).
The only alternative is that Johnson tells Labour that unless it supports an early election right now then he will prorogue until Nov 1, but even that may not be enough to force an election.
(Hopefully Cummings will realise that it’s no point being half-ruthless. You’ve got to do what’s required to win, and not chicken out before the finishing line. For example, you’ve got to keep the expelled Tories out of the party — let them back in and you’re finished.)
Update: But I’m being too optimistic, really. Boris won’t prorogue any further. He won’t get a better deal from the EU, but that just means he’ll bring back the WA again, slightly modified, for a mid-October vote. I shouldn’t forget my own points that (a) the Tories always betray us; (b) Boris may not be as squishy as, say, Oliver Letwin, but he’s still a squish; and (c) there is no evidence that Cummings is on the side of the clean Brexiteers. Being a hard man doesn’t make him a hard Brexit man.