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Excellent comment which gets to the heart of the matter. The other complication: what happens to the 14 days if Parliament is prorogued in the meantime?

If I were Corbyn I would call a meeting of the main anti-no deal players - the same as the Church House meeting attendance plus a few Tory dissidents - and say the following, (having given everyone else a chance to let off some steam first):

  1. Attempts to find a legislative route to blocking no deal are like to fail because of insufficient consensus as to the best technical route to take, insufficient parliamentary time, and the ability of Boris to frustrate the intentions of the lawmakers, by defying conventions or setting new precedents if required.

  2. Attempts by dissident MPs to avoid a general election (because of the vulnerability of their seats) are likely to prove futile because Boris is likely to call a general election in any case, immediately after Brexit day, at the height of public indignation at any foreigner interference in Britain's freedom to trade with whoever it wants, where it wants, on its own terms, and without let or hindrance. (We'll show those Frenchies who's boss).

  3. Basically Boris can't be trusted to implement Parliament's will no matter how clearly expressed and all legal remedies will be moot by Brexit day.

  4. The main obstacles to Parliament acting effectively are (i) lack of consensus as to who would make an acceptable alternate caretaker PM, and (ii) the fear of individual law makers that they will lose their seats. Corbyn can address these concerns by (a) Proposing a small cross party sub-committee to come up with the name of a caretaker PM at least minimally acceptable to all, and (b) proposing an electoral pact whereby the  anti-no deal candidate best placed at the 2017 election (effectively including all current MPs) is given a clear run at the Tory candidates. (c) The election has to be held before Brexit day to ensure the Brexit party still exists to split the Leave vote and (d) all leaders present commit to campaigning for whoever that best placed anti-no deal candidate is to maximise, consolidate and unify the anti-no deal vote.

  5. Corbyn will remind the meeting that he, as Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, has the sole right to call a VONC but that he will only do so if assured of their votes and the success of the process. He will also remind them that as Leader of the largest opposition party any choice of interim PM has to be acceptable to him.  

  6. Finally Corbyn may claim (I don't know how sustainable this claim is), that as Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, he has the sole right of access to the Queen (other than the PM) to advise her that Boris has lost the confidence of the house, that their choice of PM has gained the confidence of the house, and that Her Majesty is constitutionally obliged to dismiss Boris and appoint their nominee as PM even if Boris refuses to resign.

  7. Basically nothing effective can happen without Corbyn, and he cannot be effective without the support of the dissidents and the rest of the opposition. An electoral pact is the only way to safeguard their individual and collective futures and ensure no deal doesn't happen. An A.50 extension is the only way to ensure a no-deal crash out doesn't happen, and getting rid of Boris is the only way to ensure an a.50 extension is sought, accepted, and implemented.

  8. An electoral pact doesn't imply any policy convergence or alignment on anything other than opposing a no deal Brexit. It doesn't imply an alliance or coalition after the election, but does require opposition party leaders present a united front to the electorate to ensure the anti-no deal candidate maximises and consolidates the anti-no deal vote.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 29th, 2019 at 09:59:29 AM EST
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