Morning Briefing: MPs not being won on deal - McCluskey wrong on People's Vote - real agenda of Brexiters
Number 10 is on an all out charm offensive in a last ditch attempt to get the government’s miserable Brexit deal through the Commons. It doesn’t seem to be working, with new MPs coming out every day against the deal.
But MPs seem to have got the measure of the deal on offer - and the forced publication of legal advice yesterday saying we could be indefinitely stuck in the Irish backstop can’t have helped. May is offering us a much worse deal than the one we’ve already got in the EU. It doesn’t deliver on the promises of 2016. And worse still, it doesn’t even settle half of the big Brexit questions; it just kicks them down the road until after March 2019.
Theresa May is nevertheless offering a mad slew of half-thought-out schemes to attempt to win the vote, including a ‘Parliamentary lock’ on the backstop (which, if exercised, would involve breaking international law), inviting senior MPs to top-secret briefings on the planning for a no-deal Brexit, forming a cross-party committee to guide the next steps on the deal, and sending out Michael Gove to sell the deal on the last day of debates.
Even the Cabinet don’t seem convinced. Gavin Williamson is concerned May could lose so catastrophically that it’s better simply to call the vote off, while Amber Rudd and Sajid Javid want to wait and see how things pan out on Monday.
While losing a vote would be bad, it’s the manner in which May is expected to lose which will be damaging; when her own party can’t even get behind her deal, how can she expect the rest of the country to back it?
It’s a good thing then that May’s bluster that it’s her deal or no deal simply isn’t true. The EU is apparently considering extending Article 50 if the deal gets voted down. This wouldn’t just give us time to think about what we want; it could give us the time we need to hold a People’s Vote on whatever offer comes out of it.
Video of the Day
McCluskey wrong, Labour could win big by backing a People’s Vote
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey is warning MPs that a People’s Vote could be seen as a betrayal of Brexit. While there’s nothing undemocratic about offering people the chance to decide, the Labour party does seem to be concerned that backing such a vote could cost it votes. Fortunately, YouGov polling shows that Labour could win more than 1.5 million net votes around the country if it backs a referendum on the final Brexit deal. A People’s Vote isn’t just the best option for the country; it’s the best option for the Labour party too.
Quote of the day
“To suggest it represents a ‘betrayal’ grossly distorts Labour’s position and is deeply unhelpful to those seeking a solution to an an issue that is reaching crisis proportions”
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson shoots down Len McCluskey’s fear-mongering
Tweet of the Day
Chancellor Philip Hammond told the Treasury select committee that the so called “Brexit dividend” is being funded with more borrowing. That means there is no Brexit dividend. What a surprise!
How the Grinch stole Brexit
Former defence minister Liam Fox has decided that a grinchlike Commons may well “attempt to steal Brexit from the British people”. Really? From where we’re standing, Parliament is attempting to reconcile the vote to leave, the promises Liam Fox and his friends made in 2016 then broke, and the cold hard reality of the situation we’re in. The Brexiters promises can’t be delivered, and the public should be given the chance to decide on what they want now they know what Brexit means.
Video of the Day 2
WATCH: NUS Wales is sending a message to MPs: ask yourselves if this Brexit makes our future brighter—or bleaker.
New report warns of the real agenda of the Brexiters
Senior Brexiters are planning to use Brexit to undermine workers’ rights, cut the NHS and turn the UK into a low tax, low regulation free market free-for-all, reveals a new report published today by For our Future’s Sake.
The “Real Agenda of the Brexiters” demonstrates the full extent of a right-wing economic and social programme concealed beneath the vague words of the government’s deal, in which almost all decisions on the UK’s future are postponed until after we are due to leave the EU.
The report is being sent to all opposition MPs ahead of next week’s crunch Commons vote to remind them that Brexit is a project of the right, for the right, by the right.
Read the full report here.
More Brexit news…
Hugo Dixon: What will happen if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is voted down? Here are all the potential scenarios (Independent)
Martin Kettle: Parliament should use its power to give the voters another say on Brexit (Guardian)
Roula Khalaf: Europe’s security community braces itself for Brexit wounds (FT £)
Today, Thursday 6th December
|-||Meaningful vote debate - day 3|
|09.15||Scottish secretary David Mundell speech on Brexit|
|09.30||Brexit questions in Commons|
|10.30||Commons leader Andrea Leadsom announces the House business for next week|
|lunch||Tony Blair is the guest speaker at the monthly press gallery lunch|
Tomorrow, Friday 7th December
|-||Parliament not sitting|