Theresa May must ask the EU to reopen negotiations on her Brexit agreement with a contradictory mandate from Parliament.
MPs have told her to ask for the Northern Ireland “backstop” to be ripped out of the plan, to be replaced with “alternative arrangements” that have not yet been negotiated.
There are two problems with this: Firstly, the EU’s negotiators have made it clear that the agreement will not be renegotiated on the basis of removing the backstop.
But the other winning amendment to Mrs May’s Plan B makes it clear that MPs will not accept no deal – which is what will result if she cannot find common ground with the EU on Northern Ireland.
We all had a glimpse of what will happen to the economy if the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal when another amendment fell. Proposed by Yvette Cooper, it called for the deadline on which the UK must leave the EU to be extended if Mrs May has not achieved a Brexit deal by February 26. Its defeat made “no deal” more likely – and the pound plummetted.
Okay, the drop was only by 0.6 of a cent but it was a clear indication of further falls to come – that the UK economy will lose its value as a result of “no deal”.
The bid to scrap the NI “backstop” provoked angry exchanges in the Commons with the SNP’s Parliamentary leader, Ian Blackford, saying the Tories had “ripped apart” the Good Friday Agreement and jeopardised the Northern Ireland peace process and the DUP’s Parliamentary leader, Nigel Dodds, saying it was “utterly reckless” to say MPs had voted “to drive a coach and horses” through the Good Friday Agreement.
It is worth also noting that Jeremy Corbyn’s amendment – putting forward the Labour Party’s preferences for a Brexit agreement – won more support than Theresa May’s Plan A, two weeks ago.
The amendment proposed “a permanent customs union with the EU, a strong relationship with the single market underpinned by shared institutions and obligations, and dynamic alignment on rights and standards”, coupled with “a public vote on a deal or proposition that has commanded the support of the majority of the House of Commons.”
Mr Corbyn has now agreed to meet Mrs May to discuss the next steps – but he said Labour’s offer has not changed.
Well, Mrs May still doesn’t have an agreement that Parliament has passed. She has a mandate to seek one and must try to honour it.
Do you think she’ll get anywhere?
I was going to run a poll but let’s be honest – there seems little point.
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This is because Parliament can’t get its act together. What tonight’s vote demonstrated, in the clearest way possible, is that Parliament is hopelessly divided. Almost every amendment was pretty evenly split; there is no real majority for anything and nobody has a credible plan, because Parliament rushed into this. Every point at which Parliament had the opportunity to pause, make a plan, it failed.
Parliament voted for the Referendum. Parliament debated the Bill that gave us the Referendum, but with no plan, or semblance of one, for a leave vote. Both main partied stood on Manifestos that stated that they would stand by the result of the Referendum, AFTER the result was known. Parliament voted to trigger Article 50, again with no plan. What have our M.P.s and £ords been doing for the last 4 years? Have they learnt nothing? I have not witnessed such incompetence… anywhere. Our elected politicians are behaving like toddlers; creating mess and blaming everybody but themselves.
As far as the situation in which we yet again find ourselves, can Theresa May not get the assurances that she was given, regarding the Irish Backstop, written into law by means of an addendum? That way, there will be no need to reopen the negotiations, which the E.U. has said it will not do.
This remains an internal Tory Party squabble – the rest of us just don’t count as far as these odious people are concerned. How long, I wonder, before the right-wing fanatics ditch May?
All the votes put through Parliament is just the Tory’s writing fan fiction on the agreement we’d like to have.
To which the EU responded, within 10 minutes of the last vote going through:
“So what? Not OUR agreement! Hell No!!!”
Corbyn’s plan, though it’s much more in line with how the EU would like to do things, unfortunately doesn’t stand a chance either at this late stage, when the Exit Deal has already been finalised and set in stone, thanks to May’s botched negotiations right up until the last minute.
So what does everything that happened to date really mean?
1. We’ve officially set the date for Brexit, which is Friday the 29th of March 2019, by voting against an extension to Article 50.
2. Short of a People’s Revolution occurring within the next two months, a People’s Referendum, where we vote for or against revoking Article 50 (which is actually the best deal the EU’s offering us, albeit indirectly through the EU courts), isn’t on the table at this time, as no one in power is even talking about it, never mind considering it.
3. The votes to date only curtails May’s ability to cover her own butt in the event of a No Deal Brexit, not rule it out.
4. There is a snowball’s chance in Hell we’d accept The Deal as it stands, having already voted against it once with a huge Parliamentary majority.
5. There also isn’t a snowball’s chance in Hell the EU would modify the agreement to better suit us, particularly at this late stage.
Prepare for a Hard Brexit occurring on Friday the 29th of March 2019.