Brexit: Facing Up To Consequences

Never have the Tories been so divided, never has Labour been so inept, and never has parliament as an institution so completely lost its way.

By Dr Richard North and cross-posted from

For Liam Fox, parliament yesterday was engaged “in the most important democratic debate in this country’s history”. The British people had given our parliament a clear instruction. It was, he said, time for us to determine who is the boss.

And they blew it. A fractious House of Commons listening to Mrs May’s response to the vote sounded significantly less dignified than feeding time at the zoo. But, while they could compete on noise with the animals they were emulating, they would have struggled to match collective IQs, having just voted for the Spelman/Dromey amendment, seeking to rule out for all time a no-deal Brexit.

This had been disowned by its original sponsors but had been taken over by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, allowing the House their fantasy motion to resolve that: “That this House rejects the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship”.

The House managed to support this by 312 votes to 308, but then it came back as part of the government’s amended motion, whence 321 MPs then supported the “no-deal forever” fantasy, despite government whipping, with 278 against. That brought the final majority to 43.

It was then left to the prime minister to respond to her second defeat in two days, addressing the House by way of a point of order. With no let-up in the background volume, she noted that the House had “provided a clear majority against leaving without a deal”, then starting to repeat what she had said before

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