Johnson’s dirty trumps

Can the British Prime Minister Johnson still achieve his goal of passing the Brexit on october 31? Domestically, this is becoming more and more difficult – but in Brussels, he has a few dirty trump cards at his disposal.

Whoever reads the German media, must win the impression that Johnson has hopelessly gambled himself away and can come to his goal only by breaking the law and/or treason.

The No-No-Deal law and the refusal of the parliament to set fast new elections, Johnson seem to obstruct each legal way. Nevertheless, he can still torment the EU.

The simplest way to thwart Parliament’s guidelines would be simply not to file a motion to postpone Brexit in Brussels. The EU, on the other hand, would be quite powerless.

The reason is that the British Government must apply for a further postponement. If it does not do so and no agreement is reached, Brexit will automatically take place on 31 October – even without a deal.

A further possibility would be to apply for an extension, as the House of Commons demands, but to ignore the withdrawal agreement and impose unacceptable conditions for the EU.

In this case, the Heads of State and Government would have to reject the motion. They will meet in mid-October for the next regular EU summit; the decision must be taken unanimously.

The third „dirty“ option would be to file an application for an extension – but to coordinate beforehand with the obstructionists and populists of Orban’s kind in order to secure a „no“.

And then there are the „classic“ variants of torpedoing a deal. So Johnson could disrupt the work of the council and keep on quibbling until his wishes are fulfilled.

Last but not least, he could also blow up the EU summit – with nocturnal negotiations and last-minute demands that make an agreement impossible.

All this shows that Brussels would be well advised to prepare for any eventuality. In view of the British drama, the EU must not remain passive on the spectator’s bench, but should take action itself.

Waiting for Johnson’s next caper would be the worst strategy…

Translated with