Before Tuesday, it was unlikely that too many people outside his Bracknell constituency in Berkshire, England would have heard of MP Phillip Lee.
But on another day of the High Parliament drama about the seemingly endless Brexit saga, the conservative (Tory) MP came into the limelight by publicly addressing the opposition and figuratively and literally joining the Liberal Democrats sitting in the chamber. In this way, Lee left Boris Johnson's government without a working majority, which significantly hampered his attempts to overcome his preferred form of Brexit.
"The conservative government is aggressively pursuing a harmful Brexit in an unfounded manner. It unnecessarily endangers life and livelihood and willfully endangers the integrity of the United Kingdom, ”Lee said in a statement. "It's about political manipulation, bullying and lies. And it does these things on purpose and deliberately. "
In a later interview, Lee revealed that he had decided on a defect after hearing a radio discussion about LBC between a doctor and ore Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg. Rees-Mogg, a conservative MP, said the doctor's concern that some patients could die from lack of medication after a possible no-deal Brexit was "profoundly irresponsible," and accused him of "spreading fear across the country." ".
For his part, Rees-Mogg woke up on Wednesday to find that he would become a global meme when a picture of him appeared on the benches in the lower house that looked like a Victorian aristocrat in an opium den.
Lee's defamation and his very public criticism of Rees-Mogg underscore the Conservative Party's civil war at the heart of the excruciating, never-ending Brexit debate.
The Tories have always been deeply divided as to whether Britain would be better off inside or outside the European Union. For example, former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has scheduled the 2016 Brexit referendum to unite his party's belligerent factions. Theresa May, the prime minister who preceded Johnson and spent much of her tenure in getting Parliament to agree on a Brexit deal, also supported Cameron's view that Britain would be better off in the European Union.
But like a bunch of swaying college students facing homework, the deadline for October 31st crash from the E.U. has led to a last minute dispute between pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit factions within the Conservative Party to get what they want. Last week, Johnson suspended Parliament for five weeks to shorten the time MEPs had to block a no-deal scenario.
On Tuesday evening, Johnson doubled again by excluding 21 Conservative MPs who all refused to allow Johnson to leave the E.U. without a deal. As a sign of how bitter the civil war has become, Phillip Hammond, former Chancellor of the Exchequer under Theresa May (second most important position in the British government), and Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, were deported.
But on Wednesday, the rebels struck back and caused a humiliating defeat from 328 to 301 when a bipartisan group of legislators voted to control the parliamentary agenda, which means they can push ahead with a plan to prevent a Brexit without an agreement. A second reading of the bill on Wednesday was passed with 329 votes against 300.
Johnson has vehemently opposed such a move, arguing that he was the E.U. more bargaining power. In response, Johnson said he had no choice but to hold early parliamentary elections.
That may sound good from the outside, but there is absolutely no guarantee that an election would result in Johnson's defeat and Brexit ending. As theinformationsuperhighway has already mentioned, Johnson could use the election to essentially process the 2016 referendum again and to call himself the only politician who can fulfill the supposed “will of the people”.
Given the Labor Party divisions over Brexit and the rise of the Brexit Party, it is quite possible that Brexiter will gather around Johnson and give him a general election victory, which in turn would enable him to possibly enforce a no-deal Brexit, and give him another four years to rule.
To make matters more complicated, there is no guarantee that Parliament will vote to approve parliamentary elections. Johnson needs the support of two-thirds of Parliament to allow a general election, and union leader Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear that he will only allow a general election if the rebels are allowed to pass their no-deal law.
As always with Brexit, nobody knows exactly what will happen next. The only thing that is certain is that the Houses of Parliament will experience an unprecedented drama in the next two weeks.