On Tuesday, the front-runner to be Britain’s next prime minister had pledged to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without a deal. "Do or die, come what may," he said. A day later he was walking that back, saying he didn’t expect Britain to end up in no-deal limbo.
“I don’t think that’s where we’re going to end up. I think it’s a million to one against, but it is vital that we prepare," he told a leadership contest event Wednesday.
Johnson has built a broad coalition of supporters within the Conservative Party, from arch-Brexiteers to modernizers who wanted to stay in the bloc. He has taken turns to offer each side what they want to hear -- both in public and in private. The pound was unchanged.
Members of Parliament who oppose a no-deal split because they fear the economic consequences are trying to use the tools of Parliament to prevent the next prime minister leaving without an agreement.
They succeeded in forcing May to seek an extension earlier this year, but a recent maneuver failed and they now risk running out of time.
Conservative MP Dominic Grieve has proposed an amendment to government spending limits that would forbid the government from spending money on some areas if there had been a no-deal Brexit that wasn’t approved by Parliament. A vote could come next Tuesday.
It’s not clear if it will succeed: The move could be too drastic, and too soon, for many of the MPs who are preparing to fight a no-deal Brexit.
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