No basis for 'meaningful' UK Brexit talks — European Union officials

Wednesday, 07 Aug, 2019

But she said: "My own view is that, particularly after the 2008 economic crash, there are a lot of people who would really struggle across the United Kingdom, even if it was a very mild economic shock, a short term one".

But after Brecon, Mr Johnson is even more vulnerable to a no-confidence vote, especially given there are plenty of potential Tory rebels, including former cabinet ministers, opposed to a no-deal Brexit - though whether they would vote to bring down their own government is debatable.

But with no EU-UK talks ahead, and Johnson preparing for a no-deal Brexit, elections are off his menu.

"My view on that has changed, and it's changed because there were votes in Parliament, and just before we rose for the summer, that I thought would stop a no-deal Brexit and actually were defeated", he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Monday morning.

But a diplomat at the meeting told Adam Fleming the comments simply reflected the speech Mr Johnson gave in the Commons the day after he became prime minister.

Despite the apparently increasingly entrenched positions taken by the two sides, Varadkar said he was not resigned to a no-deal Brexit which many analysts believe would hit Ireland particularly hard.

Unlike under the pre-2011 system, losing a vote of no confidence does not automatically trigger a general election. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act of 2011, the opposition can table a motion saying: "This house has no confidence in HM government". But despite Mr Johnson's public words to the contrary, politicians are increasingly taking the rapid domestic policy roll-out as proof he's gearing up for a snap poll. No intention to negotiate, which would require a plan.

Mr Grieve argues that the prime minister would have no choice but to go if MPs support a new government.

However, that would provoke an almighty political storm, potentially dragging the Queen into a constitutional crisis, as well as raising the prospect of a legal challenge. Opponents of Brexit believe they could cobble together a national unity administration whose only goal would be to ask the European Union to delay Brexit while an election or a new referendum, or both, was held.

In Brussels and London, one question is growing louder: Can Boris Johnson be stopped?

The Scottish Conservative leader said that compromise was the only way to get a deal, which she said was the "preferred option" of Boris Johnson, and that it was needed to protect millions of people with no savings, who had seen no wage increases in the last decade, and who lived on their overdrafts.

Under the law, the date of the election following a no-confidence vote is a matter for the incumbent prime minister, and given the timetable - parliament returns from recess just over eight weeks before Brexit - Johnson could conceivably decide on a post-31 October polling day.

However, his kudos as the man who delivered the European Union referendum for Leave may just be enough to see him through.