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The first and most difficult hurdle to blocking Brexit which must be overcome is that Boris must lose a vote of confidence.  Achieving this is made much easier if their is an anti-Boris candidate all the anti-no deal Brexit factions can unite around.

If it becomes a straight vote between Boris and Jeremy, Boris wins every time.

However, as you say, Constitutionally, the Leader of the Opposition is the next in line to be consulted if Boris Were to lose a vote of Confidence. If he convinces the Queen he could win a vote of confidence, she might even appoint him PM.  However she can only do so if Boris resigns as PM.

Let us suppose Boris doesn't resign, saying he will regain the confidence of the House within two weeks or call an election after Brexit day.

The only way for the House to prevent Boris doing so is to vote confidence in someone else. Jeremy may well present himself to the House as a candidate for the caretaker PM role, but if he fails to win the confidence of the house to do so, the only way to stop Brexit is for the House to vote confidence in someone else within the two weeks.

Jeremy has the most important voice in determining who this someone else might be as he is delivering the most votes to the cause. He could suggest Harriet Harmon as a non-contentious choice, on the understanding she would stand aside as soon as the result of a general election became clear, and everyone else on the anti-Boris side would have no choice but to accept.

Or he could use the opportunity to promote his favoured successor, but this rather assumes he no longer sees himself as PM for anything but a limited period.

His choice. He is in the driving seat. But he can't force the anti-Boris factions to unite around himself. The best he can do is decide who that person should be.

But we are in constitutionally unprecedented times. A lot depends on who controls the business of the house and what Speaker Bercow allows. Boris could yet bully the House out of playing a decisive role.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 18th, 2019 at 08:53:57 PM EST
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