Richard North, 17/12/2019  

"Boris Johnson to use huge majority to enshrine 2020 Brexit date in law - with or without a trade deal", proclaims the Telegraph. A lot of people thought Johnson was bluffing when he promised in the Tory manifesto that there would be no extension of the transition period.

Readers will also recall that I was not convinced. At the end of November, I wrote:
At the end of next year, there is a distinct possibility that we end the transition period with a "quick and dirty" agreement, taking us on the road to perdition. As long as he has a big enough majority, Johnson could be sufficiently emboldened to take the gamble, on the one occasion when we actually hoped he was lying.
Clearly, he got a "big enough majority" and the "distinct possibility" has become a racing certainty. The road to perdition has just been opened to traffic.

But, if anyone ever thought that this would lead to the sunlit uplands, they will be sorely disabused by this report, headlined: "Tories to appoint Brexit supporting experts as peers in a bid to balance the 'remainiac' House of Lords".

"Lawyers, trade specialists and environmental gurus are expected to be elevated to the peerage in the coming days and weeks as the government seeks to strengthen its hand before passing more Brexit legislation through both Houses of Parliament", says the report.

Among those tipped for promotion, we are told, are Zac Goldsmith, the former Tory MP who lost his Richmond seat to the Liberal Democrats on Thursday, "trade expert" Shanker Singham, Brexit lawyer Martin Howe QC and Johnny Leavesley, a businessman who chairs the Conservatives’ Midlands Industrial Council donor group.

Houston, we have a problem. This time though, failure is not only an option, it too is a racing certainty.

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