Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Brexit is Messing Up the UK

We all know by now that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) is determined to leave the European Union by October 31, with or without a deal. Or as he puts it, no ifs or buts.

Just like his predecessor, he finds himself clashing with parliament, including some of his fellow Conservative politicians. At least a dozen of his own MPs had made clear their stand that they were likely to rebel and vote against a no-deal Brexit. It would cause economic chaos, they had said.

It's all about numbers.

Johnson was already walking on thin ice because he only had a working majority in parliament of one.

On Tuesday, the ice gave way – and the razor-thin majority he enjoyed vanished when Tory MP Phillip Lee (left) crossed over to the pro-EU Liberal Democrats. 

The arithmetic means it was always going to be hard for the government to defeat a motion supported by a big group of MPs from many parties (including his own) opposed to a no-deal Brexit. 

To make matters worse, Johnson thought he had the upper hand when he got Queen Elizabeth II to agree to suspend parliament from sometime next week – his wily idea to severely restrict the amount of time MPs have to avert a no-deal. 

He didn’t want any delay – otherwise, there would be "more dither, more delay, more confusion". 

On Tuesday, politicians opposed to no-deal grabbed the steering wheel to derail his maneuver – they elected to seize control of the parliamentary agenda. 

And they did just that – the Commons voted 328 to 301 in their favor. 

(Of course, all thirty-four SNP parliamentarians expectedly picked the correct side).

This allowed them to take control of Commons business today and gives them the chance to introduce a cross-party bill which would force the prime minister to ask for Brexit to be delayed until January 31. Unless MPs approve a new deal, or vote in favor of a no-deal exit, by October 19. 

In total, 21 Tory MPs, including a number of ex-cabinet ministers, joined the other side to defeat the government. 

In response, Johnson announced that he had no choice but to press ahead with calling for an October election, adding: "The people of this country will have to choose”. 

This whole Brexit affair is really messing up the country

Yesterday, I received an unexpected text from Foong Sook Hwa inviting me to The School @ Jaya One in PJ, Selangor to give a speech. 

I ask you – how can I say No?

And so, I was at the SOHK Toastmasters meeting on Tuesday where I delivered a CC #9 titled The Runaway Elevator. It was for my Competent Communication, Round #61. 

Ahem, I was voted Best Project Speaker.

Photos from the meeting:

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