The people voted to leave. Theresa May proposed a Deal to make that happen. The Commons on three occasions voted against it (twice personally, switching sides the third time round.) Labour and 21 Tory rebels have now introduced an absurd piece of legislation which prevents us leaving with ‘No Deal’, and hands control over our departure to the EU! That destroys our negotiating stance and tactics with the EU, thereby removing any likelihood of achieving any kind of Deal.

I deeply regret the necessity to remove the Whip from the 21 rebels, many of whom are good friends, and thoroughly honourable and decent people. However, it is a long-standing convention that any MP who votes against his own Government on a matter of Confidence cannot remain a member of that Party. Without that sanction there can be no kind of Party discipline in Parliament, and no Government would be able to gets its agenda through Parliament without it. I hope that a way may be found in the fullness of time for them to be brought back into the Conservative Party in due course

The only way out of the bind in which all of this leaves us is now a General Election. That is why we tabled a Parliamentary motion calling for one at the earliest possible moment- on 15 October. Labour blocked that. It appears that they are now split as to whether that Election should be in October (Mr Corbyn), or in November (Sir Keir Starmer.) There is a massive power struggle at the top of the Labour Party, with them using the Brexit negotiations as a tactic in it. That is both cowardly and hypocritical. Never in the long history of Parliamentary democracy has the Opposition declined the opportunity to have an Election. There can only be one reason for it- that they know they are going to lose.

So at the time of writing (Thursday morning), no-one has much idea what will happen next. Prorogation on Monday as planned? Queen’s speech on 14 October? General Election on 15 October? Or in November? My guess, (and it changes by the hour), is that the House will rise late on Monday evening having agreed a motion on a General Election. Labour will insist that election occurs after 31 October- very probably, as predicted here - on 7 November. Apart from anything else that might well let the Party Conferences go ahead.

Labour’s Surrender Bill will meanwhile make any further negotiation with the EU impossible, yet they have also effectively prevented us leaving without a deal. They don’t want a deal, yet they don’t want no Deal either. They want an election, or have said they do, yet they vote against it happening, They have been calling for a Queen’s Speech for a long time, yet work to stop it occurring.

So despite our best efforts, Labour and Tory rebels will have prevented us leaving the EU on 31st October, instead forcing yet another pointless delay until at least January.  That achieves absolutely nothing at all, but continuing uncertainty for business and people alike.

It is Stalemate, from which only an Election will release us. Labour must now put aside their terror at losing it and agree to as early a General Election as can be arranged.