MSNBC Hypes Possibility of Boris Johnson Getting Arrested

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How hard is it for the British Parliament to agree to the terms of a referendum that was held over three years ago? Apparently "very" and NBC chief global correspondent Bill Neely joined Hallie Jackson on Monday's edition of MSNBC Live to pile on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and to hype some extreme solutions, including possible jail time. 

Neely's appearance came as Johnson has announced that he will shut down parliament for five weeks, only seven weeks before Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union. Johnson is in a bind, stuck between the referendum result and the cause he supports on one hand and a disagreeable parliament on the other. Neely described the situation as "turmoil, unprecedented. I mean, this is the greatest political and constitutional crisis Britain has faced since World War II."

He didn't mention that the "constitutional crisis" was created by the defecting Conservative MPs and the opposition parties. In Britain, the Queen's ministers control the executive branch and conduct diplomacy, not Parliament, the extension bill passed by the opposition took that royal prerogative, delegated to Johnson through convention, away.

 

 

Neely then went on to bring up the over 20 defections from Conservative MPs, who have since been thrown out of the party, and then brought up a rather extreme way that Remains could use to get what they want, "He's being condemned as a dictator for doing this by many in his own party ... it’s absolute carnage, civil war in his own party and there's speculation now that he could resign. And more than that, he now faces the prospect of legal action, arrest, even a jail sentence." 

At the mention of a potential arrest, Jackson interjected with a simple "Wow." Neely went on, "If he defies a new law that's just been passed requiring him to ask the European Union to extend Britain's membership of the EU, so that's a new possibility, Hallie, in British politics, the arrest and jailing of a British prime minister. His officials say he won't break the law but he doesn't want to ask for that extension either. So something's got to give."

During the segment Neely did not once even tell viewers Boris Johnson's side of the story, but either way Johnson will probably not be arrested, because despite Neely's indication that Johnson is doomed, his Conservative Party lead in the polls. Arresting one's political adversary is probably not the best way to change people's minds.

Here is a transcript for the September 9 show:

MSNBC

MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson

10:51 AM ET

HALLIE JACKSON: So we have some developing news overseas this morning, take a live look here on the left side of your screen at British Parliament, because you're not going to see it again for a while. That’s ‘cause they're shutting the whole thing down for tonight, and for the next five weeks. Part of the political chaos that is swallowing the U.K in the midst of its Brexit mess NBC's Bill Neely is following this from our London bureau. Bill, this is wild, right? The equivalent would be if Congress, back home stopped doing anything for five weeks at a time, not during the month of August, right? 

BILL NEELY: Yeah, crazy. Wild is one word for it. There's also chaos, turmoil, unprecedented. I mean, this is the greatest political and constitutional crisis Britain has faced since World War II. Yet astonishingly as you say the British Parliament is being shut down for five weeks by none other than political leader of the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Remember, that in just over seven weeks, Britain is due to leave the European Union. He's being condemned as a dictator for doing this by many in his own party, he’s only been prime minister for a few weeks, but he’s already lost his majority in parliament, he’s expelled more than 20 very senior lawmakers from his own party, including the grandson of his political hero Winston Churchill, his own brother quit as a minister saying that was good for the country. He's lost his Scottish leader, it’s absolute carnage, civil war in his own party and there's speculation now that he could resign. And more than that, he now faces the prospect of legal action, arrest, even a jail sentence. 

JACKSON: Wow. 

NEELY: If he defies a new law that's just been passed requiring him to ask the European Union to extend Britain's membership of the EU, so that's a new possibility, Hallie, in British politics, the arrest and jailing of a British prime minister. His officials say he won't break the law but he doesn't want to ask for that extension either. So something's got to give. Yes, weird, wild to say the least. 

JACKSON: That is for sure. Bill, that happens, what, later tonight, your time, later on east coast time, right? That it actually shuts down for the foreseeable future? 

NEELY: Yep, the debate's going on now. Later today he'll try and call for a snap election. He's already lost that possibility once and he's likely to lose that again tonight. 

JACKSON: Well, drink some coffee my friend. Bill Neely in London, covering it for us. Bill, thank you much, appreciate it

 

NB Daily Events Brexit Vote MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Bill Neely Hallie Jackson Boris Johnson
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