Chaotic scenes in UK’s parliament
However it finally turns out, and there is a growing consensus it will end badly, the Brexit debate has produced scenes in the UK parliament that have led to it being compared to TV’s Game of Thrones.
At the centre of everything as always is Prime Minister Boris Johnson, an embattled figure who lost two major debates as he sought to ensure that Britain would actually leave the EU on October 31.
His troubles started when Conservative MP Phillip Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats, taking away Johnson’s slim one-vote majority in the House of Commons.
Johnson also failed in his attempt to force a snap election, and the scenes that have followed are something that would rarely, if ever, have been seen in the mother of parliaments.
There have been reports that people who can lip read have seen Johnson mouthing the words “you big girl’s blouse” at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
That may or may not be true, but Johnson did say he would rather die in a ditch than delay Brexit.
TV clips of former PM Theresa May smiling during the debate suggested she was enjoying seeing Johnson getting his comeuppance, while Johnson’s brother, Jo, a junior minister, resigned because of differences over Brexit.
One of the major developments was the expulsion of 21 Tory MPs, a group which included two former chancellors and Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, as well as a host of junior ministers.
Announcing his retirement from politics after 37 years, Soames chided Johnson whose “serial disloyalty was such an inspiration to us all”. But he ended his emotional speech by saying it was his fervent hope that “this house will rediscover the spirit of compromise, humility and understanding that will enable us finally to push ahead with the vital work in the interests of the whole country that has inevitably had to be so sadly neglected whilst we have devoted so much time to wrestling with Brexit”.
To which many people, not only in Britain but throughout the world, would say “hear hear”.