What a shambles. The House has voted for ‘indicative votes’ tomorrow. There are three fundamental problems with that. One, there is a very good chance that no clear conclusion will come from it. Two, in the unlikely event that there was an agreement, it would neither necessarily reflect the determination of the 17.4 million people who voted to leave, nor would it reflect the Manifesto commitments of both the Labour and Conservative parties at the last election. And third, even if it passes the first two hurdles, you must question what the likelihood is that the European Commission would possibly agree to it.
These are indicative votes and very probably a complete waste of time. I am now concerned that we are hurtling at break neck speed towards no Brexit at all, which would outrage both those who voted for it but also a good number of Remainer democrats. It could potentially even result in a General Election. (Did I hear Brenda from Bristol saying ‘not another one?’)
Despite its many deficiencies, and assuming that the PM will not allow us to leave with ‘no deal’ on the 12th April, then the only viable option now available to us is to support her otherwise obnoxious deal. My instinct is that most of the ERG are coming to that conclusion, although the DUP have not yet reached it. A small group of Conservative die-hard remainers would vote against it, but I hope that a reasonable number of sensible Labour MPs would now support it, if they realised that it was going to succeed.
If we want to avoid either no Brexit, or a general election, and if no deal really is off the table, then the only small window of opportunity will be to support Mrs May’s deal, if and when it comes back to the Commons, (which, I hear, may now be next Monday.)
This remains a fast moving scenario and I will try to keep you up to date with all the twists and turns.