This wild year of political turmoil has not come to an end yet, as Britain heads towards a no deal Brexit and a possible general election, and Spanish voters wearily trudge off to the polls for the fourth general election in four years.
There have already been plenty of dirty tricks and precious few treats in the lead-up to the Brexit deadline at the end of this month, but then what better day than Halloween could there be for an issue which has haunted British politics for three and a half years?
Following Boris Johnson’s controversial decision in September to shut parliament down for 31 days, MPs will return to work on the 14th October. Three days later, EU leaders will gather for their final EU council meeting, and then, two weeks later, on the 31st, the Brexit deadline falls.
At the time of writing, Law Lords are deciding whether the British Prime Minister misled the Queen when he requested to prorogue parliament. Otherwise, stalemate exists in parliament. MPs have formally voted against a no deal exit, which would mean that Boris Johnson would have to request an extension if he cannot get a deal passed by the 31st. However. Johnson has indicated that he may be ready to defy parliament and possibly break the law to get his “do or die” exit.
The approval of the bill against no deal caused Johnson to call for a general election, but this was also rejected by MPs who did not trust the Prime Minister not to exploit the timing of a general election to force a no deal exit.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s team have returned to Brussels to try and negotiate a deal with a sceptical EU. As far as the EU is concerned, they have already approved a deal – Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, and all Johnson appears to want to do is to abandon the Irish backstop. However, the EU has pledged to stand firm behind Taiosche Leo Varadkar on the backstop issue.
There is also the question of whether Johnson will actually be Prime Minister on 31st October, with a no-confidence motion proposed by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn remaining a distinct possibility. Such a motion may even receive support from the Tory “rebels”, such as Ken Clarke, who Johnson has expelled from the party.
It seems certain that the UK faces a general election shortly, and the events leading up to 31st October will have a huge bearing on the likely result. Johnson plans to be the man who delivered Brexit; Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn intends to offer the public another referendum; Libdem leader Jo Swinson has promised to call it off altogether, while Nigel Farage will back the hardest Brexit of all.