Boris JohnsonBrexitPoliticiansPoliticsThe Conservatives

What’s actually going to stop Boris just refusing to ask for an extension?

As I understand it, only the PM can ask the EU for an extension. Not Parliament, and not any coalition of civil servants. Just the PM. So what happens if Boris just refuses to do it? This new legislation is said to ‘compel’ him to ask. But the law can’t make him do it if he chooses not to. There are laws against murder, but murders still happen. People choose to commit acts that are against the law. Boris is no different. He can choose not to ask the EU. The Remainers can’t forcibly drag him there and make him say the words. The Remainers can’t forcibly move his hand for him in order to sign the letter. Only he can do it, and he can choose not to.

The question is: what would be the consequences of this refusal? He won’t have committed a criminal act, so it’s not like he will be thrown in jail (although no doubt the left will be clamouring for that). There will be a lot of talk about him being a fascist dictator, etc. but he’s been getting that anyway. I’m sure he can come up with some legal reasoning to justify his behaviour (such as the Queen’s assent issue).

There will be talk that he’s no longer fit to be PM, has brought shame on our country, and all that sort of nonsense, but he can ignore that and carry on as he’ll be a hero to most of the country. He can call a Parliamentary confidence vote so his critics can put up or shut up. If an election results from that I expect he’d win.

The Remainers might try to have his refusal to ask declared illegal, and so, they’ll say, we’re still in the EU. But I don’t think that will wash. The legal situation will be that the extension finished on Oct 31 unless the PM requested another one. As the PM didn’t, the extension has finished.

(Parliament might still have time to act against Johnson in this situation — I’ll post further on that later today.)

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7 thoughts on “What’s actually going to stop Boris just refusing to ask for an extension?

  1. The best hope, as it was back in March but May didn’t wanna, is to quietly ask one of the Eurosceptic governments in the EU to veto any extension (I’m not sure we can do it ourselves; I think a vote under Article 50(3) is among the other states).

    Apparently Macron’s making noises about it, as he did in March, but it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t have the balls. Orban might, though.

  2. Boris could ask for an extension on 19th, take it and on 31st October use the UK’s veto to abolish the extension and we leave via the withdrawal Act at 23.00. Or he could engineer us getting kicked out by not appointing a UK commissioner to the EU. I’m sure Cummings has this mapped out for him.

  3. I agree, The UK need closure, The so called “Rebel Alliance” is acting against Democracy and the best interests of the UK, A General Election prior to October the 15th to enable whoever wins said Election can negotiate with the EU as it would be able to say that they represent the UK, As it is all these Rebel Alliance is now doing is to make a No Deal more likely and they would by not having an Election be denying the Electorate the opportunity to have a say in what happens, No matter whatever you think the fact is that the “Rebel Alliance” is acting in a Undemocratic manner…mike

  4. Agreed, The best way forwards for this “Rebel Alliance” is to have the Election as soon as possible to stop Boris/Cummins to undermine them, They must believe that they will not win,The other thing that is also critical is that an Election on the 15th of October would mean that Boris would have to Campaign on a Deal mandate, If an Election happens after the 31st October then Boris will Campaign on a No Deal Brexit and work with the Brexit Party, This Policy would almost certainly see a Conservative/Brexit party win an overwhelming Majority and a No Deal Brexit would happen in any event, You have to ask what the hell is the Labour Party thinking, Labour is no longer representing the ordinary people and that will Destroy the Labour Party and quite right too, I have been a lifetime Labour supporter having been a Shop Steward and very Left wing. I would never vote for the Incumbant Labour Party and I am sure I am not alone in this……mike

  5. I’m as Leave as anyone, but I would not vote for a Prime Minister who simply flouted the law. It would permanently undermine the rule of law in this country in an absolutely intolerable way, and would be immensely dangerous.

    However I would support him as long as the question of whether this was actually the law could be argued, or was being argued, perhaps as a question of it being ultra vires.

  6. The Opposition is waging war against Representative Democracy. Our “Representatives” have chosen, in droves, not to be representative of their constituents. You don’t win a war by taking the enemy to Court.

  7. “It would permanently undermine the rule of law in this country in an absolutely intolerable way, and would be immensely dangerous.”

    You mean in the way the Speaker of the House of Commons has openly flouted his requirement to be neutral? There’s no way that the Remain faction in Parliament would have gotten anywhere near as far as they have without the active connivance of the Speaker in open defiance of all his responsibilities. So why does the Leave faction have to play by the rules, when the Remainers certainly aren’t?

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