Johnson’s empty promises are matched by the solid voice of the people and a plan to stop his ‘no deal’ strategy

Boris Johnson and Stop the Coup protesters
Peadar O'Cearnaigh

Just after 6pm on 2 September outside No 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson made an announcement. Some expected he’d call a general election for 14 October. And while he didn’t officially call an election, he instead made a half-hearted pre-election style speech. A speech filled with grand promises but no real substance.

But what did have substance were the “stop the coup” chants from nearby protesters and a cross-party plan to block his no-deal agenda.

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Empty promises

In an attempt at a pre-election war cry, Johnson announced “we are recruiting another 20,000 police officers” to make “your streets safer”. This was followed by promises to improve the NHS and to give children a “superb education”. Big promises but unfortunately little detail. In any case, the NHS and police claims were reduced to tatters when Johnson first made them.

Online reaction

But just like the protesters outside Downing Street, people online weren’t buying it:

Others focused on the protest chants:

While some clearly felt Johnson bottled his election announcement:

A cry for help

But in a desperate plea to MPs in his own party who oppose his no-deal agenda, he said “MPs should vote with the government” this week in parliament “to show our friends in Brussels that we are united”. Except the Tories, let alone the country, are anything but united.

Should MPs not back his plan, according to Johnson, it would damage the UK’s Brexit negotiations with Brussels. It could also risk a general election, which he said he ‘didn’t want’.

Plan to thwart Johnson

And while Johnson and his colleagues drank, opposition MPs were busy announcing plans to stop him. Labour MP Hilary Benn announced a plan to prevent the UK leaving the EU on 31 October without a deal “unless parliament consents”:

Some believe if MPs can succeed in extending the UK’s Brexit date, they could also frustrate Johnson’s election plans:

An uncertain week ahead

The lead in to the UK’s exit on 31 October was already uncertain. And Johnson’s announcement on 28 August that he’d asked the Queen to suspend parliament caused even more uncertainty. Add to this a half-hearted pre-election speech, his buffoonery, and side-lining at the G7 summit, and it’s difficult to take this man seriously at all.

However, if opposition MPs get their way, from uncertainty could come some clarity. And a disastrous no-deal Brexit could be avoided.

Featured image via YouTube – GuardianNews/ScreengrabTwitter – ShehabKhan

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