Brexit Latest Part One: Deadlock

Once again parliament has shown it cannot govern. Agreeing Boris’s Brexit deal is pointless if there is no agreement on how to put it into law. The normal structure of government and opposition has to fall away to be replaced by consensus. Getting the Withdrawal Agreement through all stages in two days is not reasonable, but doing it in five days is. It is more than well known already; it is a modified Theresa May WA without the backstop. So instead of the adversarial line up, the national interest, and the majority of the people of this country who want to move on, demands cooperation and consensus. Having agreed the thing in principle that should be easy.

But it is not, because all those opposing the government want to shower amendments at every level, which will not only make speedy passage impossible, but potentially change the whole nature of the deal. Fearing that last outcome, the government has paused the deal, so we are stuck. If parliament grinds to an impasse, it becomes unfit for purpose. Parliament is sovereign, but in a democracy,  it must be the case that ownership of that sovereignty is with the people. When their vehicle breaks down, they have the power and right to replace it. Unless that right is denied them.

And now that is what is happening. Our busted constitution prevents the prime minister from calling an election and endless manoeuvring for party advantage compounded by disagreements within Labour, stops Corbyn moving a motion of no confidence to bring down the government, which he would almost certainly win. Officially the argument is that a No Deal prohibition must be secured first, but that falls away, since the quickest way to do that would have been to let the WA through to become law. So we are left with the real reason. Labour fears it might lose. Not Labour in the country, the membership and the Unions are gung ho for a fight. But Labour in the shadow cabinet, especially Labour from Islington.

Because what would happen is that Boris would go, Corbyn would temporarily move into Downing Street, but under the idiotic FTPA, he would have to gain a vote of confidence. He would get that only if his policy was to secure a long enough Brexit extension and hold a general election, followed by a referendum. But that would mean that Labour, not Boris, would be the government in charge of the Brexit chaos. And all that would have to be explained on the doorsteps, drowning out their very attractive election manifesto, which, without uncompleted Brexit as a running sore, would be a major vote winner.

So, as I write this, we are stuck. Because even if we have an election, all the polls indicate another hung parliament. It might be that Labour would be the largest party, or it might be Boris. But it could be that the Lib Dems, whose scrap it Brexit policy is the only one anybody understands, might enjoy a surge back to previous highs in the 60 seat level, making four parties, Con, Lab, Lib Dem and Scot Nats. The Lib Dems and the Scot Nats want to kill Brexit and  in that scenario they would have over 100 seats potentially between them, most of Labour is Remain and so will be most of those Tories who get back in. So that could be the end of the Brexit story with the recall of Article 50.

But the numbers could be different, Farage might be there, leading to more deadlock or even a crash Brexit. In either event the saga then continues for not months, but years, even decades, during which the Union will certainly fall.

Which takes us on to Part Two.

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