ENDGAME It’s PM Johnson vs parliament in historic showdown

After more than 1,000 days of political brawling, hordes of headlines and dizzying lurches in sterling, the battle of Brexit enters the endgame.
Britain’s ancient parliament will next week host a historic showdown between Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who has vowed to leave the European Union on October 31, “do or die” — and lawmakers who view themselves as the last bulwark against economic ruin.
Members of parliament, expected to include rebels from the ruling Conservatives, will try find the majority they need to either topple the government or change the law to prevent Britain withdrawing from the bloc without an exit deal.
They may have just days to stop Johnson, and are ready to use every piece of arcane parliamentary process at their disposal.
“We’re entering new political terrain in terms of parliamentary politics,” said Ruth Fox, director and head of research at pro-democracy charity the Hansard Society.
“Next week we could see an act of parliament the government doesn’t want, it may end up with a vote of no confidence in which Conservative MPs bring down their own government, or all the opposition’s plans could fall apart.” Johnson, the face of Brexit for many Britons, has staked his political future on taking Britain out of the EU on October 31, with or without a deal to smooth the divorce between the world’s fifth-largest economy and its biggest trading partner.
His showdown with parliament will determine the course of Brexit — the United Kingdom’s most significant geopolitical decision since World War Two.
Whatever the outcome of the Brexit chess game, it will go down in the history books of the Westminster parliament, which traces its history through the English
Civil War and Norman Conquest to the ancient Witan of Anglo-Saxon England.
In a 2016 referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 52 per cent, backed Brexit while 16.1 million, or 48 per cent, backed staying in the trading bloc-cum-political project it has been a member of since 1973.
The result divided the population at every level, from the government cabinet table to the family dinner table, and the intervening three years have seen little reconciliation.
When lawmakers return from their summer break on September 3, those opposed to Johnson’s strategy, combining all rival parties and some Conservative rebels, have two main options to try to stop him: change the law, or change the government.
— Reuters