Over 100 Tory MPs alone were reported to have been planning to vote down Mrs May’s agreement. A catastrophic vote of no confidence in the prime minister and her government in itself, had the final debate gone ahead.
But Mrs May has taken a huge risk to delay it too. The fury across the commons, summed up angrily by the speaker,, John Bercow, who labelled the decision “deeply discourteous” and suggested that the government should allow parliament a vote on the decision to delay the vote… but this has since been rejected by the whips.
Mrs May’s decision today, apart from ensuring that the UK is even more of a laughing stock in the eyes of the rest of the world, also seems entirely pointless. The EU has repeatedly refused to reopen negotiations. Remarkably, 27 member states managed to do what this government’s own cabinet couldn’t manage. Agree on a withdrawal agreement for the UK to leave the EU.
A date in January was mentioned by Mrs May today as a deadline that the government had to have its house in order by, but it has since been said that the postponing of today’s vote means that there is now no deadline for Mrs May to adhere to.
I am now very anxious indeed that Brexit could just be kicked into the long grass, with no vote taken at all.
Of course, leaving without a withdrawal agreement is the default position as of 29 March if there is no alternative set in play by that time. And although there is no majority in the commons for this, there are those who are very keen on this outcome.
Leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement is so deeply irresponsible it is hard to put into words. From a financial perspective alone it could mean a whopping 9.3 per cent hit to GDP according to the Treasury. And that’s just the finance.
Mrs May insists that a People’s Vote, surely the only viable way out of what is now a full blown constitutional crisis, must not happen because there was a vote in 2016 and the people have already voted… but what did any of us know back then? We voted on a principle, a concept. Now we know the full deal. And no one likes it. Virtually no one that is, except Theresa May and a few of her most loyalist MPs.
And to me a People’s Vote (with two options – Mrs May’s deal and Remain) is the very epitome of democracy. It’s about getting it right. Making sure that the people are still on board, following two and a half years of frankly shambolic negotiations and a shambolic withdrawal agreement that leaves us worse off and cut off.
Labour MPs are calling for a vote of no confidence, and they are backed by the SNP and Libdems, as well as Green MP, Caroline Lucas. But the numbers on this don’t add up. The Labour Party know they cannot win a vote of no confidence. Yet.
There are also mutterings from the Jacob Rees Mogg hardliner crew, who are reportedly talking once again about letters of no confidence in their leader. 48 are required to fell her. Will they manage it this time after an embarrassing failure a few weeks ago? Who knows?
As I sit here contemplating all this it really seems as though the future of the UK is resting in the hands of fate.
It could go any way. The UK’s future, and ours with it, is on quicksand.
Sadly, the politicians in charge don’t seem interested in what is best for the country.
Today’s decision. Just like all the others related to it and before it, are motivated by one thing and one thing only.
A desperate desire to cling onto power.
Apparently at all costs.
And it’s contemptible.