Tag Archives: meaningful vote

May’s Brexit deal is dead as she admits no support for third ‘meaningful vote’. Time for a GENERAL ELECTION?

Defeat: It seems the EU has proved to be the demise of another Conservative leader. Are we heading for another general election? If so, it seems unlikely Theresa May will lead the Tories into it.

Theresa May has admitted defeat on her Brexit deal.

She has told Parliament there is not enough support for it, so a third “meaningful vote” on it will not happen this week. She says she still wants to drum up support for it, but commentators are likely to conclude that such an outcome seems unrealistic now.

This means the terms of the EU’s offer to extend to Brexit deadline until May 22 cannot be met and Parliament now has until April 12 to set forth options for a way forward.

This opens the way for Parliament to hold a series of “indicative” votes on the form Brexit should take.

Some may say this should have been done long ago. Better late than never? But Mrs May told the Commons today (March 25) that she is sceptical about such a process and may not act on the results.

Here’s the crucial part:

She said no MP can commit to accepting something that contradicts the manifesto on which they were elected.

In that case, if MPs decide to support a departure from the EU that conflicts with Mrs May’s aims as stated in May 2017, it seems the UK is set for its third general election in four years. Some may say it will happen not a moment too soon!

Of course, the Conservative manifesto for the 2017 General Election was a hugely malleable thing, and the minority government that followed the election result pretty much threw it away in its entirety, the instant it took office – so Mrs May’s caveat may be a little rich for some tastes.

At the time of writing, Parliament has yet to agree the EU’s extension to April 12. If it doesn’t, we leave the EU on Friday (March 29) amid legal confusion. I think we can assume that it will.

  • Then Parliament will have to consider alternative options – most probably via the “indicative” votes that Mrs May doesn’t want. Options include:
  • Leaving with no deal;
  • Cancelling Brexit by revoking Article 50 (this may become a viable option by that date as the petition calling for revocation creeps towards the kind of numbers needed to show popular opinion has shifted against it); or
  • A further extension of Article 50.

If the last option is chosen, then the UK would be dragged into the European Parliament elections and the most likely options would be renegotiation of Brexit, a second referendum, or a general election.

Perhaps Mrs May has had enough and is preparing to skip straight to the election.


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Groundhog May: PM delays next ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit AGAIN

Junket: Theresa May has let us all down again by delaying the “meaningful vote” on Brexit. Meanwhile, she’s enjoying a nice holiday in Egypt pretending to be talking about the UK’s departure from the EU. How can she? She knows nothing about it.

Theresa May: Leader or liar?

The answer to that should be obvious after she announced that, despite having promised a debate on progress in making her Brexit deal more acceptable to both Parliament and the European Union on February 26 – and a new “meaningful vote” the following day, she is reneging.

She said she does not have a reworked withdrawal agreement to bring back to Parliament, and her negotiating team will be back in Europe on Tuesday – so there can be no “meaningful vote” the following day.

She said a vote on or before March 12 would still make it possible to leave the EU by the March 29 deadline. That’s assuming that Parliament supports any deal she brings forward, of course.

(March 12 is the deadline for a meaningful vote because it has to take place before the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s spring statement the following day.)

She put down demands for an extension of Article 50 – the EU rule that triggered the countdown to the UK’s departure – claiming that deferring the point of decision on a deal doesn’t change the fact that the decision has to be made, and ignoring the fact that a deferral might make it possible to get a better deal, after her own remarkable lack of interest in doing so.

And she avoided the question of what she would do if she loses the “meaningful vote” in mid-March, saying: “Why is it that people are always trying to look for the next thing after the next thing after the next thing?”

The answer is obvious: Because the economic future of the UK is at stake and we have a prime minister who simply doesn’t seem to care.

Mrs May’s attitude seems to confirm Matthew Parris’s assessment of her as “the Death Star of British politics”:

“She’s not normal. She’s extraordinary. Extraordinarily uncommunicative; extraordinarily rude in the way she blanks people, ideas and arguments.”

This much we can see in her announcement and response to the questions on it.

She won’t accept that delaying Article 50 makes sense – but then, if we accept that she has deliberately run down the clock, we can see that such a delay would undo all her effort.

She won’t accept that people are concerned about what might happen if her deal is rejected because her focus is on forcing us to accept something we all know is worthless.

We were promised more than we could expect in our life as citizens of the EU; we are being offered less. So Mr Parris’s further criticisms ring true:

“Theresa May… is the Death Star of modern British politics. She’s the theory of anti-matter, made flesh. She’s a political black hole because nothing, not even light, can escape. Ideas, beliefs, suggestions, objections, inquiries, proposals, projects, loyalties, affections, trust, whole careers, real men and women, are sucked into the awful void that is Downing Street – and nothing ever comes out: no answers, only a blank so blank that it screams.

“Warnings are delivered to her, and ignored. Plans are run by her, unacknowledged. Messages are sent to her, unanswered. She has become the unperson of Downing Street: the living embodiment of a closed door.”

And we all know it. Matthew Norman, in The Independent, gave the situation a comic spin – possibly on the basis that we have to laugh, to keep us all from tears:

“Her intent has been transparent for a while. She means to keep pulling that vote, as she did just before and after Christmas, until 28 March.

“The only anticipated variant here concerns the scapegoat. Until now, under the curious misapprehension that he is the prime minister, she has blamed Jeremy Corbyn.

“With that beginning to stale, potential rap-takers for the non-votes ahead are rumoured to include the late Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the later Clara Bow, Norse god of trickery Loki, Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, Joan of Arc, Inspector Blake (“Blakey”) from On The Buses, and Taylor Swift.

“Finally on Brexit Day Eve, according to this devish [sic] scheme, she’ll put the deal to a House of Commons with no collective choice but to pass it to escape the yawning abyss.

“The abyss is in excellent company. Who isn’t yawning as the immovable object of crushing tedium grapples the unstoppable force of abject terror?”

Either might be better than the emotion most of us are feeling – frustration:

(The fact that Brexit is due to happen at 11pm on March 29 only strengthen’s Mr Chown’s point.)

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1099666380838916103

My point of view? I have a lot of differences with Nicola Sturgeon but she makes a good point here:

Is it possible? I don’t know.

I do know that it is every MP’s duty to prevent us being dragged into disaster by someone who turned out to be a liar, not a leader.


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Double standard over Brexit ‘meaningful vote’ and a second EU referendum suggest democracy is dead

The hypocrisy of this: Apparently it is undemocratic to have a second EU referendum – but it is entirely democratic to force Parliament to vote again and again on Theresa May’s dud Brexit “deal” until she gets the result she wants.

That’s what Alex Wickham of Buzzfeed News reckons is the thinking in Downing Street, after Tory government leaders realised Mrs May is unlikely to win the “meaningful vote” on her deal, due to take place on January 15:

Click on the article link for more details.

Lord Adonis, a major campaigner for a second referendum, was quick to identify the flaw:

He’s right; we have been told time and time again that the country must not be allowed the chance to have another vote on this matter because an outcome in favour of remaining in the European Union would be an insult to democracy. Yet here we have Theresa May planning to insult democracy as many times as necessary, to force Parliament into accepting her deal due to fatigue, if nothing else.

The alternative, it seems, is another act of cowardice; she’ll withdraw the vote from Parliament again, denying MPs the ability to decide.

It would indeed trigger a constitutional crisis. The government would again make itself guilty of contempt of Parliament, as Parliament had agreed that a “meaningful vote” approving the deal must happen, or the deal cannot go ahead. Refusing to allow such a vote would cast Mrs May into the role of dictator, at which point, even in today’s devalued and corrupt Parliament, she would find herself out of Downing Street pretty damned quick.

But these are the choices presented to us at the moment. Little wonder that ordinary people are drawing the logical conclusion:

If this is really the situation then it is unacceptable. I hope to see Mrs May forced to clarify her position on the day Parliament resumes sitting – either by the leader of the Opposition or (preferably) one of her own backbenchers.

She seems to think she can do whatever she wants and it is up to our elected representatives to put her straight.

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Democracy strikes back: Corbyn secures emergency debate on May’s attempt to force her Brexit on us all

All stand: Every Labour MP got on their feet to support Mr Corbyn’s motion – and many Conservatives. They didn’t have to; a lack of objections would have been enough. They did it to show the strength of their feelings.

MPs on both sides of the House of Commons have supported a bid to force Theresa May to accept their decision on whether to delay the “meaningful vote” on her lousy Brexit deal, rather than letting her force the delay on them.

A three-hour debate was set to be held today (Tuesday, December 11) on whether Parliament should approve her postponement.

Mr Corbyn said Mrs May was ignoring a decision of Parliament to hold a debate and a vote and, in doing so, was disregarding Parliament and the rights of the House of Commons.

He demanded that the government should seek the approval of the House of Commons to defer the vote as this was the only way to honour the terms of the original decision on the business of the House.

He said: “On Tuesday 4 December, the House unanimously agreed a business motion that sets out the rules and timetable governing the meaningful vote debate. The Prime Minister has today unilaterally announced that she will ‘defer the vote scheduled for tomorrow, and will not proceed to divide the House at this time’.

“Neither the Prime Minister nor the Leader of the House has confirmed the date for the conclusion of the debate or the votes. This shows a disregard for Parliament and the rights of the House, as well as of the 164 Members who have spoken in the debate and those who are planning to do so. Once again, the decisions of Parliament are being ignored.

“It is clear, as the Prime Minister admitted in her statement, that she has decided to avoid a heavy defeat on her deal in the House of Commons tomorrow. Again, Parliament is being given no opportunity to express its view on her negotiation.

“It cannot be right that the Government can unilaterally alter the arrangements once this House has agreed on a timetable without the House being given the opportunity to express its will.

“The public will look at the behaviour of this Government and how they treat their democratically elected representatives with despair. Our constitution works on the basis that Governments control the business of the House because they have a majority in the House. The Government appear to be avoiding a vote on a change of business because they fear that they do not command a majority. We have no indication when the debate will be resumed or completed.

“The Government’s incompetence cannot be used as an excuse to threaten the country with no deal. It is vital that the Government treat Parliament with respect, honour the terms of the original business of the House motion as agreed and therefore seek the approval of the House, not act by Prime Ministerial fiat, to defer the meaningful vote.”

Mr Corbyn’s application was timely – and important: According to the House of Commons Twitter account, if the “meaningful vote” is delayed, it might not take place until March 28 – the day before the UK leaves the European Union.

So it should be a matter of pride for every MP who stood in support of Mr Corbyn’s motion – on both the Opposition and government benches.

The voting requirement on motions like this is for an MP to object – not for them to show their support. Nobody did so.

But every Labour MP stood up for Mr Corbyn anyway – along with some Conservatives:

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1072236937644257290

Mrs May thought she could ride roughshod over the will of Parliament last week. She was wrong – and her government became the first in history to be held in contempt of Parliament as a result.

It seems likely she’ll be wrong again.

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