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It looks like a nod to democracy. But is it?

Before she won the right to continue dictating the UK’s course on Brexit – by just two votes! – Theresa May made a concession to Parliament by agreeing to allow “indicative votes” on how to proceed, giving some control of the parliamentary timetable to MPs and allowing them to vote on a range of Brexit solutions.

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, who deputises for Mrs May, said MPs could have a say in forging a new plan if hers could not be agreed by Parliament. We now know that her plan will go before Parliament yet again before the European Council summit on March 21; if it is approved, then the government will seek a brief, technical extension beyond the current March 29 departure date to get the necessary legislation in place.

If it is not, then the government will be seeking a longer extension – to June 30 – and it seems likely that indicative votes on the kind of Brexit to be negotiated will be held then.

But we have had assurances from Theresa May before – and they have come to nothing.

She tends to forget her promises as soon as she gets what she wants.

As always, this is an opportunity for the general public to judge Mrs May’s government.

As usual, it would be wise not to expect people to draw the obvious conclusions.


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