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To shut down parliament would be simple. But it would be an outrage | Vernon Bogdanor | Opinion

The next prime minister will have the power to prevent MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit, though would he or she dare close the Commons for three months?Whoever is elected Tory leader and becomes prime minister will find the clock is still ticking. Britain is to exit the European Union on Halloween, 31 October. To avoid that outcome, the EU must agree to a further extension so that the government can alter the exit date. The new prime minister will also be confronted with the unforgiving arithmetic ...

Boris Johnson: a charlatan with bravado. Barely a word he spoke was trustworthy | Polly Toynbee | Opinion

He charmed the Tory faithful with bluster but this launch was a policy-free performance from a man without qualitiesThe charm, the magic, the charisma were well polished – and this is as good as the man gets on best behaviour after weeks of behind-the-scenes training. If you puzzle as to how this man, unfit for every office he has held, can be about to sweep into Downing Street, his performance today is the answer. His snake oil of choice is optimism, so miserably lacking in politics now, radiat...

Ignore Johnson’s bluster about Brexit. He wants a general election | Tom Kibasi | Opinion

He knows a better Brexit deal isn’t possible, and that no deal could be blocked. He’s playing a different game entirelyStriding to the stage in a room filled with his rabidly Eurosceptic cheerleaders, Boris Johnson perfectly captured the tenor of the times, having being introduced by every Tory’s favourite bass-baritone, Geoffrey Cox.Johnson launched his leadership bid with a fictional plan for Brexit. He has promised to shred the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May, claiming that he ...

The Guardian view on Labour’s victory: now for the Tories to decide | Editorial | Opinion

Jeremy Corbyn’s strategy has been successful. Tory leadership candidates will have to find a Brexit solution that honestly confronts its drawbacksOne can read too much into any single byelection in Britain. Most pundits thought that the seat in Peterborough would be won by the rightwing populist Brexit party, which was riding high in the opinion polls after emerging triumphant from the European elections. National politics is focused on a Conservative leadership race revolving around how and whe...

Jeremy Corbyn shrugs off referendum calls after byelection win | Politics

Labour leader says ‘not yet’ to calls for people’s vote, urging Tories to call general electionJeremy Corbyn has indicated he will not bow to shadow cabinet members and move towards a second referendum after Labour narrowly beat the fledgling Brexit party in the Peterborough byelection.Arriving in the Cambridgeshire city after the party’s candidate Lisa Forbes won by 683 votes, leaving the Tories trailing in third position, he called for the “squabbling contenders” within the Conservative party ...

The Peterborough result spells out the dangers the next Tory leader will face | Katy Balls | Opinion

The Conservatives must find a way to avoid a general election until after the UK has left the EU – or face annihilationThe Peterborough byelection result is bad news for both the Brexit party and the Conservatives. The vote – triggered after former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was ousted under recall rules following her conviction for lying over a speeding offence – had been touted as a perfect opportunity for Nigel Farage’s newly formed party to build on their success in the European elections and ...

Next Tory PM will not be able to suspend parliament – Bercow | Politics

Speaker says it is ‘blindingly obvious’ that no-deal Brexit cannot happen without vote• Latest political developments - liveJohn Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has said it is “blindingly obvious” that the new Conservative prime minister will not be able to suspend parliament to push through a no-deal Brexit.The Speaker said it would not be an option after outrage across the political spectrum when the leadership hopeful Dominic Raab suggested he might try to take that path. Continu...

The Guardian view on the Peterborough byelection: a populist backlash? | Editorial | Opinion

Mainstream parties need to offer narratives, and policies, that address the underlying economic grievances of votersPeterborough is a smallish city in eastern England with a fast-growing population of European migrants attracted by its factories, warehouses and agricultural work. On the edge of the Fens, it sits on top of two faultlines in British politics: those of culture and class. When the city voted to leave the European Union in 2016, it seemed to be reacting against the ethos of the times...

Brexiteers want a leader with Trump’s swagger. That would be the ruin of Britain | Rafael Behr | Opinion

The president gets away with his boorishness because the US is a hyperpower. A cut-price UK version would be a disasterDonald Trump’s presidency and Brexit have their own special relationship, distinct from the celebrated 20th-century alliance between the US and the UK. The two projects were born a few months apart, the surprise electoral twins of 2016, delivered in similar pangs of voter rage. Both promised national renewal by defying foreigners. Each was greeted as a monstrosity by liberal dip...

Britain is horribly divided – but that’s also the fault of remainers | John Harris | Opinion

Opposing a reckless, no-deal Brexit by embracing a tribal war would be disastrousIn the buildup to the European elections, I travelled around Britain and had the sense of people talking about the state of the country in wildly different ways. “Democracy is broken,” shouted a Brexit supporter in Swindon. I met lifelong Tories on the affluent edges of the Cotswolds, anxious about how England seems to be embracing the politics of extremes. In Manchester, everyone was remain, but remarkably disengag...

Both right and left should fear the justified rage of Remainers | Nick Cohen | Opinion

Pro-Europeans find themselves derided or ignored even as their numbers swellThe old parties are failing because they do not understand the driving forces of modern Britain: identity, authenticity and runaway disgust. For much of Westminster and the media, the only identity that matters is the identity of the working-class Leave voter. He is usually male and always white – for the ethnic minority working class has been forgotten. His authentic disgust will make the nation tremble if we do not bow...

Good week/bad week: Who's ahead in the Tory leadership race? | Politics

From divisive remarks to social media successes, the past seven days have been eventfulBoris Johnson The former foreign secretary is said to be working quietly to persuade moderate MPs he shares their values in general, despite his position on Brexit. May have been helped by the emergence of Raab as a bigger threat to that group’s values. Continue reading...

Government spends almost £100m on Brexit consultants | Politics

Exclusive: leaked Whitehall report criticises departments for lack of transparencyNearly £100m of public money has been spent on private consultancy firms recruited by the government to provide Brexit advice including no-deal planning, a leaked Whitehall report obtained by the Guardian reveals.The draft report by the National Audit Office, which scrutinises spending for parliament, details how government departments have paid at least £97m to Brexit consultants up to April this year and criticis...

Labour party pushed to ballot members on second EU referendum | Politics

People’s vote activists say chance of electoral success will lessen if party fails to commit to public poll on BrexitLabour’s ruling body is facing demands to ballot all party members about whether to start campaigning immediately for a second EU referendum, as thousands sign petitions asking for the party’s policy to change in the wake of the European elections.Campaigners in the Labour party wanting a “people’s vote” wrote to the national executive committee on Tuesday requesting a members’ ba...