Not since King Charles I has a person invoked such collective disdain from Parliament. While the outcome of this odd arc, taking place over the course of the final season of Great Britain, will (hopefully) not end with a beheading, it will without a doubt have seismic repercussions on other things, namely the monarchy. Initially I was unsure about Boris Johnson’s plan to prorogue Parliament as I consider it a dangerous precedent to set; however, I have convinced myself it is necessary.
Johnson’s government is a minority government supported by the DUP. So far, life has not been made particularly difficult for this alliance, but it easily could be – namely by the prospect of a parliamentary rebellion.
Discussions by MPs to pass laws which would block the outcome of a no-deal Brexit have taken place. One could see why this would be problematic for a government currently negotiating the terms of Brexit with the European Union. Consider this analogy: when business executives argue over the terms of a deal, every option is on the table. If one side has a trump card that could potentially strengthen its hand during the negotiations, why then would it choose to throw it, or even the threat of its use, away before negotiations have concluded? The answer is, of course it would not. No rational actor would dare throw away something that could make the difference between a positive or a negative outcome. So, it has led to this; the need to suspend Parliament to keep a vital variable on the table.
Between France with 15.58%, Germany with 20.78%, and Italy with 11.74%, the total contribution to the EU budget from these nations in 2018 was 48.01%. With Britain’s 11.88% included in that calculation to make the Big Four, the total contribution to the EU budget of these nations was an astounding 59.89%. Germany is the undoubted heavy lifter here, and with that in mind, what then happens once the UK has officially left the EU? Does Germany take on more of the burden to meet the budgetary requirements? Does France?
Germany is one of our biggest export partners, while we aren’t in their top five import partners. But we do have a big advantage in negotiations: one of the top five export locations of Germany is the UK. The prospect of a no-deal Brexit to Germany must be one of the most unappealing outcomes of these tense negotiations. To potentially lose €90.3B from the economy is nothing to shrug at, especially with the increased burden of having to help fund the EU without Britain.
This is fundamentally why no-deal should stay on the table as a last resort and why I believe Johnson may have been right to prorogue Parliament – to see off a rebellion whose aim, if achieved, would weaken the negotiating hand of the government. No-deal must be an option if Britain is to get the best outcome for itself upon leaving the EU.