You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 2, 2019.

The parliamentary logjam surrounding Brexit is breathtaking.

For those who have not been following, this was the state of play on Britain’s official Leave date, established in 2017:

The other day, I elaborated on Remainer Parliamentarians not following through on the result of the Brexit referendum in June 2016. That post provides background on what happened on Monday, April 1, 2019.

Leavers voted to break away from the EU because of its undemocratic nature.

Now Leavers find that their own MPs are scuppering that referendum result.

Recall that in the June 2017 general election, both Conservative and Labour manifestos pledged to honour the referendum result.

Early this year, Leavers began finding out how undemocratic Remain MPs have been. We’ve seen them vote against No Deal and Theresa May’s alternative Brexit deal. We’ve seen them propose various motions that would overturn the referendum result:

This is a cross-party effort to stop Brexit.

One has to ask who is less democratic: the EU or Remain MPs?

April Fool’s Day in Parliament

Last week, Remain Conservative MP Oliver Letwin’s motion to allow indicative votes on Brexit alternatives produced eight from as many MPs. None of them passed.

On Monday, April 1, Speaker of the House John Bercow (Remain) put forward four of those motions for a second vote on Monday.

These are the motions they voted on:

C: Permanent customs union with the EU (Kenneth Clarke, Conservative Remainer)

D: Membership in European Free Trade Association (Efta) and European Economic Area (EEA) (Nick Boles, Conservative Remainer)

E: Confirmatory public vote on any parliamentary Brexit deal prior to ratification (Peter Kyle, Labour)

G: Extend Article 50 with parliamentary right to decide next steps (Joanna Cherry, Scottish National Party)

Once again, none passed:

The Guardian has a useful page with each MP’s vote. It is interesting to see how many Conservative and Labour MPs are violating their party’s manifesto pledges on Brexit.

On that topic, this is an illustrative comment from a Guido Fawkes reader on Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who voted to trigger Article 50 but is now showing her true Remain colours:

Cooper, whose constituency voted 70% to 30% to leave said just before she voted in favor of Article 50 that “Nobody said at any time ‘you know what, I am not going to respect the result afterwards’ – that’s the kind of thing Donald Trump says.”

She must have meant Hillary Clinton. Anyway:

Prospects of deselection for Yvette – hopefully very high. There was always going to be a conflict between Islington lefties dropped into Northern working class seats, and the voters in those seat[s].

Other MPs have vacillated, changing their minds between the two indicative voting sessions on Ken Clarke’s Custom Union:

Speaking of a permanent Customs Union, Conservative Party members rightly reject it. Look what does have the rank and file members’ approval — No Deal and PM May’s deal:

Guido Fawkes says (emphasis in the original):

ConHome have done their own set of indicative votes among the Tory membership, finding massive grassroots opposition to any of the options apart from No Deal. Nearly 90% are opposed to Customs Union membership, revoking Article 50 or a second referendum, while 79% oppose ‘Common Market 2.0’, with barely double figures in favour of them. It’s daft that otherwise sensible ministers and MPs are even thinking of adopting the worst possible Brexit outcome…

One of Guido’s readers put it this way (emphases mine):

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.

When I voted in the referendum in June 2016, the thing that mostly closely resembles what I thought I was voting for is what is currently called “no deal Brexit”.

I really don’t want to be in the Single Market or Customs Union. I’m not interested in a “close and special relationship” with the EU – an ordinary one like Canada and the Australia has with it is fine. I’m not interested in the European Arrest Warrant and their criminal databases (which we mostly contribute to). I couldn’t give two hoots about pet passports or mobile phone roaming charges.

I voted for full independence.

The reader later added this:

I am sorry to say that I voted Conservative.

At the time, I believed the Conservative Party and Theresa May were committed to leaving the EU in a meaningful way.

Sadly, I was mistaken.

Compounding the dissatisfaction are the divisions appearing within the political parties themselves as evidenced by MPs last night:

After vote, Remainer Conservative resigns

After yesterday’s indicative votes were announced, Conservative MP Nick Boles, a Remainer, announced he was resigning his role as whip — and leaving the Conservative Party:

He then left the Chamber for the evening.

There’s more here:

But this is not about compromise. It is about delivering Brexit, preferably World Trade Organization style:

Boles was upset that he got fewer votes on his motion from his fellow Conservatives:

April 2 – it gets worse

Leave supporters went to bed on Monday knowing that the indicative votes did not pass.

However, Remainers will not give up:

Sure enough. Around noon on Tuesday, Remainers had struck again …

… despite the fact that:

Guido’s post on the latest Remain wheeze to block Brexit tells us (emphases in the original):

… the Cooper/Boles/Benn/Letwin shadow Government have significant escalated their takeover plans, with Yvette Cooper tabling a full-on Brexit-blocking Bill which they will try to ram through the Commons tomorrow. The Bill tries to block a no-deal Brexit by ordering the PM to seek yet another Article 50 extension from the EU.

The plotters aren’t even trying to use the excuse any more that they’re just trying to let Parliament have its say, by trying to force through an entire Act of Parliament they are taking on the mantle of a Government but with none of the accountability or scrutiny that should involve. All in the name of blocking the country’s biggest ever democratic vote…

Here is an excellent observation on the matter:

This is a benign analysis:

The reality is more like this. This QC (Queen’s Counsel) asks pertinent questions:

This could be very bad news indeed, especially for the main Leave group of Conservatives, the ERG (European Research Group):

Meanwhile, as I was writing this post this afternoon, the Cabinet was still meeting at No. 10:

Next steps

This is the likely schedule in Parliament for the next few days:

More anon.

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