49

It is difficult to tell why Johnson really does things, since he is a serial liar with opaque motives even by the low standards of British politics. However, from various other public statements, we can work out Brexit doctrine. The belief seems to be that the EU is an asymmetric power structure with Germany on top and France second, and that all the other ...


48

In the UK, two fingers is an insult much like the middle finger in the USA. Done in a palm-out orientation it is the victory sign, as done by Winston Churchill. The other way around, palm inwards (knuckles out) it is just like the middle finger.


46

Doesn't this effectively end Johnson's short stint as Prime Minister? Only if he loses, which is not a foregone conclusion. And even then, he doesn't leave office until a replacement is ready to enter: if it's a hung parliament, he would keep the office during coalition negotiations unless he chose to resign it. Note that until recently (the Fixed Term ...


45

According to VOA, it hasn't been this blatant before, at least as actual elections go: During his time in office, Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, weighed in on Brexit in 2016, provoking fury from the referendum's supporters for saying London would be at the "back of the queue" for a trade deal if it left the European Union, noted Ben Riley-Smith, U.S. ...


36

I'm not sure you'll get a specific sourced answer for this question, so I'll attempt to answer in generalities. France and Germany are often seen as the driving forces behind the EU project. Along with the UK and Italy, these are the Big Four European nations, contributing highly to the EU budget and EU GDP. A quick search of EU related headlines will find ...


28

Calling a general election dissolves Parliament, which is currently giving Johnson grief. However, he remains Prime Minister, with the executive power of that office, until a new Prime Minister is appointed after the election. He may see this as a way to deliver a No Deal Brexit. There also appears to be the possibility (raised in other questions) that as ...


27

No. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49810261 The notion of unlawful here means only that the prorogation does not comply with how the supreme court interprets the political rule book. It doesn't actually mean any actual law was broken, or anything criminal occurred. It is no different than saying, a law is unconstitutional. legislators who draft ...


25

The statement is quite nebulous (hey, its coming from a politician), but Boris Johnson isn't the first government politician to float the figure: Because we value the NHS so much, the new £20.5 billion funding settlement announced by the Prime Minister in June provides the NHS with funding growth of 3.4% a year in real terms over the next five years. This ...


24

In the UK, Australia and New Zealand, the two fingers (sometimes also two-fingered salute) is a sign whose meaning can approximately equated to the middle finger which is used in North America, Europe and probably other places. Both are a hand gesture with the palm facing inwards and fingers streched out: index and middle finger in the case of two fingers. ...


23

IANAL, but probably the only thing he could be charged with is misconduct in public office. I haven't seen anyone suggest that he should be charged (for this, this time). The charge does not require one to break some explicit statute. It also applies "where there is no relevant statutory offence, but the behaviour or the circumstances are such that they ...


20

It's generally not done in US politics with other functional democratic countries either, not just the UK. Doing so is simply really bad statecraft. The problem with weighing on one side in an election in is that regardless of the result, parties and the masses who support them remember that kind of political attack. In a functioning democracy, today's ...


19

While this is a small difference, the supreme court found that the prorogation was unlawful rather than illegal. This may seem pedantic, but the law is often so. Boris will not be charged with a crime, because there is no crime to charge him with. It is possible that he will break a law over this, but until he has done so it is impossible for charges to be ...


18

There is no precedent for requiring a supermajority in the commons - the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act was the first time this was ever required. There is, therefore, no precedent for circumventing such a requirement in this way, but this is simply because it has never been necessary. This method of getting around the supermajority requirement may seem odd, ...


15

It means exactly what the words say. There is a plan. Plans don't cost anything much to produce. All you need is a computer running MS Office, and in half an hour you are done. Whether the plan will ever be delivered is a different question. But of course the political point is that the opposition now have a few bad options and no good ones: Ignore the ...


14

If he calls an election then it's possible he will gain a greater majority than he had (at the moment he has no majority of course). This will mean that not only for Brexit, but for other stuff he wants to do, he will be able to act freely. Remember, Boris is a Brexit fan, because it is a way to get him the PM job, not because he is a true believer leaver. ...


12

There are a number of factors here which may be relevant, although as observers we cannot be certain which are actually weighing on private decisions. In favour of the 12th: The 12th of December is a Thursday, which is the de facto standard election day in the UK. Parliament must be dissolved for a 5-week election campaign. That means that if the election ...


11

Calling an election has a number of benefits. Fresh blood First of all, it's an opportunity to get rid of MPs from one's own party who aren't absolutely loyal. Those people may at one point or another block legislation from the government or even support a vote of no confidence. Getting rid of them means bringing in new people who are selected to be more ...


10

Boris Johnson is a hard Brexiteer, he made no mystery of the fact that he is happy to make the UK leave the EU without a deal. Therefore his visits are not meant to convince anybody in the EU, especially since there's absolutely no indication at all that the EU would budge (quite the opposite). There's also no concrete indication of what he proposes instead ...


9

He reportedly used a simple expletive while reacting to business concerns about Brexit, namely:


9

According to the Guardian: London used not to be “a Labour city”. London was defined in its current sprawling form, Greater London, by the Conservatives in 1963: in part to offset Labour support in the inner city by including an outer ring of more Conservative suburbs, the “doughnut” that Boris Johnson decisively gobbled up in his mayoral victories in ...


8

By convention, Her Majesty only acts on the advice of the Prime Minister. With regards to the election, the motion that the House of Commons must pass is very specific: That there shall be an early parliamentary general election. Note that the House of Commons cannot set the date. It is up to the Prime Minister to decide upon the date for the election, ...


8

You cannot really negotiate by Skype with 20-30 heads of state or government directly. The process set up by the EU (for Brexit but also for trade deals) is to appoint a negotiating team with an explicit mandate adopted by the 27. For internal negotiations, the work is prepared by bodies like the COREPER (where everybody is around the table but not ...


7

Ask, but not honestly In short, the law states that the PM must seek an extension. It does not state that EU27 must grant the request. So if BoJo can convince EU27 (or a few key states really) that an extension is a meaningless waste of time, Brexit will still happen on the 31st.


6

I am not sure how seriously the question was asked, but anyway... While the current POTUS made his first overseas visit in a form of a tour, starting from Saudi-Arabia, in many countries, typically [maybe also in this case with Mr. Trump...] the chosen destination of the first official foreign visit has symbolic importance, and often takes place to e.g. an ...


6

The article is paywalled, so it's difficult to say what Johnson means, but to a great extent it doesn't matter. To an even greater extent than normal politicians, he doesn't mean what he says and lies freely about the EU. Brexit is not primarily a Russian project. If anything I would say it's the result of a long, sustained campaign of disinformation about ...


6

The rub is that if he resigns there's no guarantee he'll get an election. The ad-hoc coalition that opposes a no-deal Brexit could form a government. Since some answers provide contrary opinion, here's a further quote from the Cabinet manual of what happens a government resigns without having a majority: 2.13 Where a range of different administrations ...


6

It seems to have been a personal choice to enable him to attend Prime Minister's Questions, and also to attempt to take control of government business. Having just run a campaign against Corbyn calling him a coward for not calling an election, not attending Parliament would leave him wide open to accusations of hiding from it. Instead he has returned to ...


6

🖔 U+1F594 although todays meaning is more or less "fuck off you twat." But it mostly lost that appeal: If asked, most people would gloss the meaning as ‘Fuck you’ or something similar, and it was certainly a very potent offensive gesture until recent years when it seems to be losing its ability to offend. –– Jacqueline Simpson & Steve Roud: "A ...


5

It would have looked very bad for Boris if he had not returned, having just lost a major court case and with Parliament meeting to scrutinize his actions. If he had stayed away it would have looked like he was trying to avoid being held accountable or having to defend his actions. He also has some business to attend to in the House, mainly trying to secure ...


5

Highly unlikely Most high courts (regardless of country) prefer to keep themselves out of the political process. When cases like this come up, they want to tailor things as narrowly as possible as to the question before them. In this case, the UK Supreme Court said this (trimmed for relevance) The power to prorogue is limited by the constitutional ...


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