The meaningful vote has FINALLY arrived, and it is almost certain that Mrs May is going to lose. There is a complete deadlock in parliament between the executive, and the representatives. There are many different proposals about what to do if and when she loses the vote tonight; but realistically there is only one option. Mrs May must endorse a no deal Brexit as this is the only way in which democracy will be valued and it respects the wishes of the 17.4 million people who voted to leave in 2016.
The media have been covering this vote for over a month, partly because everyone thought it was going to take place in December. However, the moment has finally arrived when Mrs May will have to accept that her deal is not good enough for parliament nor this country. Nevertheless, the vote is going to take place and the question is not whether she is going to win, but it is by how many votes is she going to lose.
Our prediction is that it is going to be around a 50-80 margin because of the rebellion within her own party. Therefore, Mrs May has to come up with a plan B and very quickly due to the recent amendments put in place. By law, Theresa May must inform parliament of her plan B within 3 days after this vote. The truth is that tonight’s vote could merely be the ‘first stage’ to Theresa May’s plan, as she recognises that this is the only deal on the table. Despite this, the loss today will be a huge disappointment for her, and there is no doubt that already in Number 10 Downing Street, civil servants and advisors are attempting to plan ahead.
The only realistic option that delivers on the core values of leaving the EU, such as leaving the single market and leaving the customs union, is a no deal Brexit. Labour’s plan is simply ridiculous as they have no idea what to do, and the proposals that they randomly suggest lean towards a soft-Brexit. Yet again, Jeremy Corbyn and his front bench have failed to realise and understand that 40% of Labour voters also voted for Brexit. Furthermore, Labour are so focussed on getting a general election, that they are ignoring the largest democratic mandate ever given to the UK parliament.
Many MP’s, mainly in opposition parties, have argued that ‘no deal’ has no mandate or support in parliament, but there are two factually incorrect points in this claim. Firstly, if Theresa May endorsed a no deal then the ERG (European Research Group) would fully support her and rally behind their leader, meaning that there would only be a handful of backbench Conservative remainers, such as Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieves. Secondly, Labour and other opposition MP’s have blatantly ignored the Withdrawal Agreement legislation; there is no need for a vote or support in the House of Commons as a no-deal is legally the default option.
Theresa May’s strategy of trying to please both remainers and brexiteers has utterly failed. This deal leaves us halfway and stuck. The DUP are understandably furious with the backstop, and the brexiteers are angry about the EU’s unilateral powers of the backstop. If Mrs May were to walk onto the steps of Downing Street tonight after losing her vote and endorsed a no-deal Brexit, there is no doubt she would have huge support across the country.
What is actually going to happen?
Quite simply we have absolutely no idea but there are a variety of options. The most likely is that Mrs May will return to Brussels and attempt to get minor concessions and then force parliament to vote again. However, this plan would not work and would simply be strategical to get her vote through. The second option is the embracement of the no-deal option, which would certainly be brave of her, but it is unlikely to happen. The third option is that she resigns and then chaos continues in UK politics. All of these options are dependent on her, but the final option is that Labour would table a motion of no confidence in the government and unexpectedly win, meaning a General Election. No one knows what will happen in the next 48 hours, but undoubtedly everyone will be watching with intrigue!