LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament next month has once again caused consternation and confusion in Britain's already chaotic efforts to leave the European Union, while the question of where Britain will land on October remains open 31., the day on which the country should leave the block.
Mr. Johnson says he would rather leave Britain with a revised Brexit deal, but otherwise it would be out anyway. His opponents have vowed to eliminate any possibility without executing a deal, which in their opinion would be economically catastrophic.
Here are six of the most likely results that have led to October 31st.
1: Legislators Take Responsibility
MEPs disagree on Brexit, but a majority is against what they would like to see as destructive "no-deal" deviations exclude this. Mr. Johnson has made this difficult by interrupting Parliament for a few crucial weeks. But he has also inspired his opponents to act, and Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat leader, hinted in a BBC interview that they could copy Mr. Johnson in an arcane trial – she did not specify what – to "no " to stop. Deal "Brexit. So do not count them out yet.
2: Parliament's Nuclear Option
If they do not legislate against Brexit without an agreement, lawmakers can resort to the ultimate weapon: a motion of censure that supplants the Lord. Johnson out of office. Currently they do not seem to have the votes to enforce this. But even if this were the case, the problem might not be solved.
The law calls for the formation of a new government within two weeks or after a general election. One option could be a janitorial administration, which would presumably apply for another Brexit delay in order to have time to make a choice. The problem is that opposition leaders can not agree on a prime minister. Jeremy Corbyn, the natural leader of the Labor Party, is on the left and, as a lifelong critic of the European Union, is frowned upon by resolute opponents of Brexit.
Many would prefer a more centrist figure – perhaps the former Conservative Cabinet Minister Kenneth Clarke – as a janitor. Mr. Corbyn would have to agree to step aside, as a censure motion could not succeed without his support.
And even if that were the case, Mr. Johnson has another trick up his sleeve that his followers have telegraphed repeatedly: he may refuse to resign and then schedule a November parliamentary election to hold a Brexit without agreement. Dirty pool, maybe it would leave deep scars in the body politics. However, the relevant law, the Temporary Parliaments Act, does not include anything that requires the prime minister to resign without delay.
3: A Temporary Election
If Lawmakers Should Quickly Pass a Law Prohibiting Brexit Without Agreement Before the parliament is suspended, Mr. Johnson might try to outflank it again by scheduled a parliamentary election. This would be risky, but he'll soon have to fill one because he has a working majority of just one seat in Parliament, a margin far too small for any government to comfort. If there are elections soon, Mr. Johnson is likely to stand as a people's defender against a parliament that intends to obstruct the pro-Brexit outcome of the 2016 referendum. One theory is that the election could take place on 17 October so that Mr Johnson – if he wins – can go to the EU summit with a new mandate the following day.
But there could be a significant roadblock. To hold an election, Mr. Johnson would need the support of two-thirds of the lower house, so he would need opposition votes. The Labor Party wants a choice, but could sit back if they think that instead of a quick vote, Mr. Johnson wants to postpone it until the Brexit deadline.
4: Leaving the E.U. With a Deal
Nobody seems to think that this option has any great potential. After all, Parliament voted against a Brexit deal three times, negotiated by Mr. Johnson's predecessor Theresa May, and the European Union stubbornly refuses to resume negotiations. But do not rule it out.
The critical date is the 17.-18. October, where the leaders of the block meet and provide opportunities for last-minute bargaining (which is virtually the only way to get things done there). If a potentially catastrophic no-deal Brexit is still possible, Mr Johnson can send a gun to the heads of European leaders to get a revised deal, and then put the gun to the heads of its legislators to get the deal Measure to adopt. "Either accept my new revised Brexit agreement," he'll say, or we're about to face the dreaded no-deal exit.
5: A No-Deal Brexit
Although it is generally accepted that Mr. Johnson uses the threat of a reluctant exit as a bargaining tactic, it is also possible that he actually means what he says. If European politicians make too little concession to his taste, he could go ahead with a no-deal exit, and given the limited parliamentary time available to him, he could succeed. It's the default option, after all. This would allow Mr. Johnson to unite the Brexit supporters in a general election in late 2019 or 2020. However, there is a danger that the predictions of economic chaos after a no-deal Brexit affirmation and a vote prove unrecoverable for him (and, if bad enough, possibly for the Conservative Party in the coming years).
6: Courts decide
There are already three cases that are being considered against Mr Johnson's decision to suspend the Parliament. Experts believe that this is unlikely to succeed – although Gina Miller, an activist against Brexit, opposed such predictions when she won a case against Ms. May's efforts to bypass parliament when she began the exit talks. She tries it again.
But there may be other ways to go to court. If Mr. Johnson refuses to resign after losing a vote of confidence and tries to postpone a general election beyond the Halloween deadline, a legal challenge would be likely. Then it could be judges, not legislators, who have the deciding vote in Britain's biggest peace decision in decades.