Behind the bluster of briefings from either side of the English Channel about the possibility of Boris Johnson getting a deal from Brussels is the slow inevitability of an outcome many had deemed impossible; that he may well get one. The chances of this Parliament passing a second referendum any time soon are low, so Europe has two choices; to either accept this deal, or to let another lugubrious extension prolong the uncertainty that is driving investment away from Britain and increase the chances of an eventual no-deal exit. The Brexit deal he comes out with may well make Britain a poorer country, outside of the Single Market and the Customs Union, it may well put checks near the Irish border, but it will have completed the task Theresa May tried and failed to fulfil; getting Brexit over the line and heeding to the seemingly sacred vote of 2016.
It would also have particularly attractive political consequences for Johnson; if this deal is agreed and passed by Parliament, then it will wipe out one threat over on the right in the form of the single-issue Brexit Party. It would make Labour, in their perpetual ambiguity, look toothless. Jeremy Corbyn has said that he would back a kind of public vote on a deal, but has never ruled out the possibility of campaigning against the very deal he could negotiate. Labour’s supposedly moderate but truthfully pernicious Brexit strategy will become facile if a deal is passed that many of the public see as similar to Labour’s proposals.
If a deal is not passed, however, and the gruesome idea of another extension, another period of uncertainty and indecision is forced upon us, then the very real prospect of Jeremy Corbyn taking the reigns of power comes into play. Corbyn knows that his economically disastrous, anti-Semitic stances and Eurosceptiscism will never play well with the electorate at a future general election and has therefore resolved to play a traditional Stalinist plan and try to seize power without the voter’s consent. It seems likely that if forced, the Scottish National Party will back Corbyn in the sanctimonious and laughable idea of a ‘Government of National Unity’. One wonders how someone who has backed every foreign aggressor acting against British interests in his lifetime could possibly unite Britain as a nation, but Brexit has turned many previously ignored ideas into seemingly sensible propositions.
Over the summer months there was much discussion as to whether Jo Swinson and her party would accept Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to stop a no-deal Brexit. It has become even more evidently clear since then that Corbyn does not really support Remain, and never has. He sees the European bloc as a capitalist stitch-up, and little will ever change in his mind. If he was to get into power, he would try and get the reigns of power for as long as possible with a small majority that would eventually wither and die. This would provide political uncertainty on a huge scale, economic chaos as the forces of Scottish nationalism and Latin American socialism are moulded into one, and the degradation of diplomatic relations with allies on the world stage. And on the Liberal Democrat’s heads it would be, as it is their votes he needs to get through the Commons to begin with.
Many have spoken of Swinson’s refusal to back Corbyn as a political move; showing that to her, political status is more important to the Lib Dems than their pledge to stop a no-deal Brexit. A crash-out can be stopped without Corbyn, whose weak leadership lead in many ways to the failure of the Remain campaign in 2016. Either a deal is reached, as the Vote Leave campaign promised before the referendum. Or we have a second referendum, and put the deal, or no-deal, against the option of Remain and let the people decide. This, I fear, is not a likely outcome unless the people decide to put in many more Liberal Democrats in a general election that must now surely be held.
What Swinson and her growing number of Parliamentary backers must not do is to give the reigns of power to a deceitful man such as Corbyn, who will take any opportunity to get into power and take Britain backwards, not forwards in a post-Brexit vision. In the coming months many Remainers may well have to accept defeat, in the form of Brexit deal. Johnson, undeservedly, may well succeed in portraying himself as the man of the people against ‘undemocratic’ MPs and judges. Any plans to delay further will only lead to the further unpopularity of the Remain cause among moderate voters, wary of the continuing uncertainty. If the cause is to be defeated, then we can at least get rid of one of the most obvious threats to liberalism in this country in the form of a Corbyn government.