Nowadays nearly every week is a critical week. Last week was – yet it seemed to end with a dribbling away of tension. They didn’t work over the weekend either. They, being Mrs May and Corybn and perhaps the Cabinet. How unlike the rest of us they are. In any crisis, do we not work weekends? Not MPs apparently.
Yes, a curious week. In no particular order, we had:
MPs taking control on Monday; debating and voting for four motions. I watched some excellent people debating thoughtfully and with dignity, notwithstanding a protest in the gallery where naked Extinction Revolution stuck themselves to the glass making MPs laugh through Peter Kyle’s introduction of his motion. But despite their wish to i) be part of a customs union ii) be part of a Common Market 2 iii) have a ‘confirmatory vote’ – interesting how the language has changed and iv) on no account leave without a deal – every motion was defeated. So, no control there then. The father of the House Kenneth Clarke said, rather sorrowfully, that MPs don’t appear to be much good at politics. Yup! Too right.
On another day Yvette Cooper (Lab) and Sir Oliver Letwin (Conservative and fancy him being a hero of the hour) put forward a Bill to outlaw a no-deal’ which was passed by one vote. I mean one, only one? 311 to 312. So there are 311 utter shites wanting a no-deal? Thank you so much. Apologies for my language, but I’m beyond exasperated.
Then there was a planned 7-hour Cabinet meeting which seemed to be longer and where MPs had their phones confiscated so they couldn’t ‘leak’. Theresa came out to speak directly to the people (which is a very dangerous thing which I’ll talk about another time) and said precisely nothing. Oh, she’s going to talk to Jeremy Corbyn – something you’d think she’d think of a wee bit before the very last minute. And where has that gone? Not very far. Seems to have spluttered to a halt with talk of Mrs May offering not one compromise. Are we surprised? The talks may continue though – but who knows.
And oh, yes, she’s going to ask for a longer delay. But not a really long one, only to June 30th. However, whatever is requested (long or short) if it goes beyond 22nd May we have to take part in the EU elections which, although the thought of this has sent the Tory party into cardiac arrest, no-one really wants while there is this uncertainty and chaos.
Apparently over the water, in deepest Europe, although there are mutterings of refusing Mrs May’s request because why is she requesting this – what is her plan? Ummm, nope, no plan. There are also mutterings about giving the UK a year’s delay. Which won’t suit the Conservative party either I can guarantee that.
These extensions (of whatever variety) will be discussed at an emergency meeting of the 27 EU leaders on 10th April. And don’t forget the deadline for the UK either passing the Withdrawal Agreement or coming up with a fresh plan is on the 11th April.
So: where does this leave us.
- The Withdrawal Agreement – is ever so slightly more likely to be passed – if it comes before Parliament that is
- However, if the WA is passed Mrs May will step down, and then a new PM could renege on the above – just saying
- A general election – yes, quite possible
- No deal – yes, very possible
- A long delay – also possible but that’s a whole can of worms there.
Therefore, this coming week is truly critical.
Penny Kocher 7 April 2019
Further reading: Jonathan Friedland The lesson of this Brexit ordeal? Guardian Friday 5 April 2019
And I promise a far more considered analysis when – when we can see what our fate might be!