European Union (EU) leaders have agreed to extend Brexit until Jan. 31, said the president today (10/28) - Photo by AP

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson received a fresh blow when senior minister, one of his key front bench ministers, Amber Rudd quit her work and pensions post in protest at his handling of the Brexit crisis, the Telegraph reported on Sunday (09/8).

Her resignation caps a miserable week for Johnson as he tries to steer his splintered country through its biggest political crisis since World War II. He said this week that he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than seek a Brexit extension until January that more moderate forces demand.

While a “concerningly high number” of United Kingdom (UK) businesses are unprepared for a no-deal Brexit, the British Chambers of Commerce has warned, after research showed that more than two-fifths of British companies had not conducted a Brexit risk assessment.

Parliament moved closer to obstructing a no-deal Brexit this week after passing a bill aimed at forcing Johnson to seek an extension. The pound reached a five-week high on Thursday as investors reacted to the diminishing likelihood of the UK crashing out of the European Union (EU).

The prime minister was also given a boost Sunday when three separate opinion polls gave his Conservative Party a lead over rivals. The boost for Johnson also came as politicians prepared for another showdown in the House of Commons Monday when a second attempt is to be made to call a snap general election.

The polls boost for Johnson came despite suffering major defeats in the House of Commons in the past few days. He had also faced criticism for firing 21 MPs, including a number of senior party veterans, from the Conservative benches for siding with the opposition in the votes. Shortly after UK’ parliament decision, Pound Sterling surged against the Greenback, as the markets react to Johnson losing control of Brexit. The currency hit US$1.2347, its strongest value in a week followed by an overnight surge of 0.4 percent.

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Johnson plans to go to court to challenge an order from Parliament to delay Brexit. Raab insisted that the government would not violate the law – after lawmakers passed a law requiring it to seek an extension of Article 50 – but said it would not comply as well

The main opposition Labour Party have joined forces with the minority Liberal Democrats, Scottish Nationalist Party, Plaid Cymru, and the Green Party. Their collective vote means Johnson won’t win the two-thirds majority to trigger an election in mid-October ahead of the October 17 crucial meeting in Brussels of the European Council.

Commenting on Rudd’s resignation as a senior minister as well as quitting the Conservative Party, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said “Johnson’s government is falling apart. He’s being totally found out.”

He said on the party’s website: “This is further proof that the government has no intention of securing a Brexit deal. Boris Johnson is pursuing a no-deal Brexit strategy that would be disastrous for jobs and our economy, and put our public services at risk. We need to take no-deal off the table, then we need a General Election to elect a Labour government that will repair the damage after nine years of Tory chaos.”

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to give Royal Assent Monday to the opposition parties’ legislation aimed at preventing Johnson from taking Britain out of the EU on October 31 unless there is a deal agreed with the EU.

The new law means Johnson will face having to ask EU members to grant an extension to the departure date until the end of next January.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that two polls published on Saturday evening give the Conservatives a commanding lead over Jeremy Corbyn‘s Labour Party. The newspaper said it suggested Johnson’s hardline stance on Brexit is cutting through to voters.

The Conservatives are up to three points to 35 percent in the latest Opinium poll, with Labour trailing in second place on 25 percent. The minority Liberal Democrats are on 17 percent.

It said that while Johnson’s own approval ratings have fallen slightly, from 41 percent to 36 percent, he still enjoys a dominant lead over Corbyn, with just 16 percent of respondents considering the Labour leader to be a better candidate for prime minister.

The latest survey also appeared to show that a plurality of voters support Johnson’s Brexit strategy, with 37 percent stating that they approved of his handling of the Brexit process, while only 17 percent backed Corbyn’s approach.

The Telegraph commented that the findings of the most recent polls appear to fly in the face of events in Parliament last week when Johnson failed to stop Remainer MPs from legislating to delay Brexit or secure the election he believes is required to break the deadlock.

Written by Marcel Gual, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com