Err, yes Sonia, this is what we’ve been saying

Yes, parliament can block a no-deal Brexit – if it can just agree on how
Sonia Sodha

If a majority of the Commons voted for some specific plan then that would indeed be the plan. We’ve understood this point for some time now.

The parliamentary Brexit problem is that there’s a majority against the current plan, crashing out with no deal on October 31. But there’s no majority for any other plan.

We know, this, we’ve been saying it for some time now.

24 comments on “Err, yes Sonia, this is what we’ve been saying

  1. When will they learn, blocking a no-deal exit is akin to proving a negative.

    Anyway, let us continue to enjoy the Schadenfreude:

    How they rejoiced when Gina Millar won her case by twisting the final drips out of the “human rights” rags. And then Parliament voted by a majority of 384 to allow May to send the letter. The consequence of which was a no deal exit in the absence of a deal. Those wise old birds in Parliament proving yet again their inability to see past their own political noses.

    How Remainers cheered when Parliament won the right to have a meaningful vote on any deal – which was then used to block a deal which was BRINO, because the no-dealers thought that they could get something better – a 2nd referendum or even revoking A50 – and without any irony they sided the ERG.

    And now they’re proposing this:

    It may have come late in the day, but Corbyn has now offered a procedurally failsafe route to block no deal, should other MPs choose to back it. MPs would vote against the government in a vote of no confidence, and Corbyn would form a temporary government, with the support of opposition parties and Conservative rebels, whose sole purpose would be securing an article 50 extension, then triggering a general election in which Labour would campaign for a referendum with a remain option.

    The problem is that Eurosceptic Corbyn is an unlikely leader for a remain resistance: he is distrusted by pro-Europeans such as Jo Swinson, who feel he has been dragged to this position kicking and screaming, and too many MPs who want to avoid no deal say they could never put him in government, even temporarily. But the fact is he’s the leader of the main opposition party, with the best chance of bringing the greatest number of MPs behind him as the anti-no deal temporary prime minister. Swinson and others may not trust his motives – and believe he’s only made the offer to escape blame if and when no deal happens – but if stopping no deal matters above all else, why not call his bluff? It’s hard to see sufficient numbers of Labour MPs getting behind Swinson’s suggestion of a backbencher as temporary prime minister, even if it’s someone who comes from their own ranks, such as Harriet Harman.

    They’re pinning their hopes on (a) enough brain-dead MPs voting for Corbyn as PM, even if temporarily & (b) Pro EU parties winning a majority in the commons after a GE & (c) that majority being able to agree what a deal looks like. That’s close to being a new definition of delusion.

    Stephen Bush of the New Statesman is very good on this subject. IIRC he calculated that at least 14 Conservative MPs would have to vote Confidence in a Corbyn led government, even if some of the never Corbyn Labour MPs change their minds.

    But she then goes on to admit the flaw in her plan whist wandering further in to La-La Land:

    This impasse among remainers means that a temporary government to block no deal feels politically unlikely. Conservative rebels such as Dominic Grieve are working on an alternative plan, which would see parliament take over the legislative agenda in September and pass a bill to mandate Johnson to ask for an extension to article 50. This feels more likely politically, although there are questions about whether it could work procedurally, even with a sympathetic Speaker. If it were to happen, Johnson would likely trigger a general election in order to get a mandate for no deal. If none of that works, there’s also a last nuclear option: parliament could vote to revoke article 50 in the days leading up to 31 October

    But the problems is Boris can’t trigger a GE, he can only ask Parliament and with the polls showing pro-Brexit majorities will they want to risk a Conservative/TBP majority that will campaign on no-deal? Unlikely, especially as quite a lot of MPs will be voting to be unemployed.

    So then they’re down to Parliament agreeing to Revoking A50 when they couldn’t even master that in an indicative vote.

    As I’ve said before if Gina Millar hadn’t won her case and Parliament hadn’t voted for its meaningful vote we’d be in the BRINO of May’s deal by now.

    Personally I’d have preferred EFTA or similar because we’re going to end up there, or there abouts, once the acrimony and dust of a no deal exit has cleared.

    One final point – its not really no deal, there’s loads of mini deals in place already to cover lots of technical issues, like keeping planes flying.

  2. BiNd

    Very good synopsis.

    It always amazes me that those people who are supposed to know how politics in this country works have not the slightest clue. The fixed term parliament act and other such pieces of legislation, seem to pass them by.

    As you said the other day, it will not be a no Deal Brexit, it will be a Gina Miller Brexit

  3. What’s a Gina Miller Brexit? She wants something to happen which means we remain, despite all her initial protestations to the contrary.

  4. “The parliamentary Brexit problem is that there’s a majority against the current plan, crashing out with no deal on October 31.”

    I wonder if it is logically possible to have a majority against doing nothing, at least in any law-making sense that isn’t entirely redundant.

  5. BF – Gina Miller campaigned for Parliament to get a vote. Perhaps she hoped they would reject it. They didn’t. And they could have applied caveats or conditions. They didn’t.
    They – our clever MPs – voted to Leave. By a huge majority. They then “owned” the decision.
    At the time I thought Gina was a Leaver, as only a Leaver would insist that Parliament give such backing to a narrow win at the polls.
    As it is, she’s a major architect of Brexit as it has become. Put a statue of her next to one of Farage outside Parliament . . . .

  6. Guido reports:

    Former Chancellor Philip Hammond’s ‘Remain Alliance’ group of anti-Brexit MPs are plotting to hold their own talks with Brussels in order to secure yet another Article 50 extension and stop Brexit from taking place on 31 October.

    At what point do we arrest people for treason?

  7. The words “crashing out” accept the framing of the issue by the enemies of Brexit. Better to say “leaving under Article 50”.

  8. Philip Hammond holds no position in any government. There has been no vote in Parliament mandating representatives of Parliament to start parallel negotiations with the EU. There was no referendum mandating individual parliamentarians to negotiate with the EU.

    So has Philip Hammond completely lost the plot or did he never really care about that pesky electorate?

  9. There should be no question of these treasonous cunts holding ANY more votes of any kind. Arrests for treason need to be made amongst Tory MP ranks and emerg powers used to put their votes in as their constituents voted 23/6/16 should any additional vote happen. Bercow needs to be arrested for Treason and replaced –pending a new appointment– with Rees Mogg.

    Troops need to be put in readiness near the HoTraitors and scum MPs of any Party need to understand that ANY attempted coup will lead to instant treason arrest . And a beating covered by “resisting arrest”.

    That should do it.

  10. We’re not leaving on the 31 October. Both Johnson and Hunt gave themselves enough wiggle room in their election campaigns to delay it.

    What will happen is that Boris will propose an actual solution to the Irish border and, if he’s got any sense, will take the opportunity to rewrite Versailles 2 to be more reasonable by conceding a bit in some areas while ditching huge swathes of the parts where the EC has overreached themselves.

    This fudge will save enough face on both sides.

    The EC will then need to ask for an extension (and it must be seen to be a request from the EC, not us) so they can steamroller it past the rEU.

    A decent deal should be enough to get enough votes from the leave with a deal and the leave at all costs factions in parliament. And fuck the remainer Quislings.

    We will then leave on 31 Dec and enter a 2 year transition period.

  11. @BiND

    I’m sceptical of a Toey/TBP majority, not least because I’m not sure where the latter would win any seats…

    One interpretation of the Brecon result is “vote TBP, get Remainer” – not going to be true in all constituencies but probably in enough to put some voters off.

  12. @BiND/MBE – Yes, but “Vote BRExit, get Remainer” is really just a side effect of the impact that the BRExit party has to the Tories (mostly).

    If the Tories were to go into an election in the autumn with BRExit unsatisfied or some version of Treason May’s WA BRINO deal then the Tories would pay the price in terms of a loss of power.

    The difficulty though is that Labour would not gain it, since they are as contaminated and weakened by BRExit in their own heartlands in the North.

    At the moment, the primary beneficiaries of The Brexit Party (BXP) splitting the vote would seem to be the Lib Dems and possibly the Greens (since it is unlikely that the SNP can advance much further at Westminster).

    Will the BXP get any MP’s? Possibly one or two in their own heartlands, but not sufficient numbers to represent anything significant since their support is too thinly spread.

    I think the Tory traitors of Remain would be purged from BRExit supporting heartlands (either by the electorate or by being forced out by refusal to endorse / campaign on the part of local constituencies), so I suspect that the smaller number of Tory MP’s elected would be more BRExit than Remain.

    So you end up with a parliament where there is no easy way to a majority and neither side can knockout the other. The only thing that can happen is parliamentary frustration and paralysis until another election is called.

    I’m no fan of the Tories, but voting BXP doesn’t fix the problem in any scenario, it just exacerbates the paralysis.

  13. If Boris were to revoke the British citizenship of Grieve, Hammond, Soubry etc, would that disqualify them from being MPs?

    I think Grieve has dual French nationality, so would not be rendered stateless.

  14. If Boris were to revoke the British citizenship of Grieve, Hammond, Soubry etc, would that disqualify them from being MPs?

    You don’t give your enemies power by acting against them. You give them enough rope to hang themselves as Hammond, Grieve, Soubry, Letwin et al are all doing.

    Any actions against them would be seen (or at least portrayed) as politically motivated and only increase their support.

    They are in the political wilderness. Let them enjoy the full experience of impotence and irrelevance.

  15. @JG

    There seem to be quite a few Tory MPs either defecting or declaring they won’t stand for reelection (effectively freeing their hands for a no confidence vote) which presumably is going to change the makeup of the Tory party after the next election, as you say.

  16. MBE–Which is why the remainiac pukes need to be told that the slightest loyalty to the EU will cost them all their loss-of-job compo and pension. And if already well-heeled then treason time behind bars as well.

    Under NO circs should the remainiac traitors be left with ANY chance of winning. NONE. By whatever means it takes.

  17. Mr Galt–Uncle Joe/Adolf/Mao were fairly effective against their enemies–and with the exception of Chairman Turd’s “Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom” caper none of them bothered about the “enough rope etc” ploy.

  18. MBE,

    “I’m sceptical of a Toey/TBP majority, not least because I’m not sure where the latter would win any seats…

    One interpretation of the Brecon result is “vote TBP, get Remainer” – not going to be true in all constituencies but probably in enough to put some voters off.”

    THe Tories didn’t even try at Brecon. But be that as it may, perhaps the Leave vote will split, that will defend on what triggers the GE. If the trigger is plotting against Boris then he may will get a clear run with Farage just attacking the odd seat.

    If it’s a Tory capitulation then TBB May get a good run.

    Either way, as Boris or Nige might say to Remainers: do you feel lucky, punks?

  19. Would be interesting to see if the Remain alliance where the Greens and Plaid stood aside for the LibDems would hold up for a GE as opposed to a by election

  20. Ironman – So has Philip Hammond completely lost the plot or did he never really care about that pesky electorate?

    He’s the Rt Hon Member for the CBI

    Battery Chicken – We’re not leaving on the 31 October. Both Johnson and Hunt gave themselves enough wiggle room in their election campaigns to delay it.

    I call fowl on this, the message Boris has sent the public is that we’re leaving on Oct 31st “do or die”.

    Doesn’t mean he won’t backslide, natch. But he has no wiggle room. Theresa May burnt all of the Conservative Party’s goodwill, and BoJo’s extravagant promises are the only thing keeping them from annihilation. Nut up or shut up time approaches.

    John Galt – We are long past the point at which people should have been arrested for treason.

    True.

    MBE – One interpretation of the Brecon result is “vote TBP, get Remainer” – not going to be true in all constituencies but probably in enough to put some voters off.

    Maybe, but not enough to save the Tories. No Brexit before the next election means a significant proportion of their voters go for the Samson Option.

    And… why wouldn’t they? Even if they don’t think The Brexit Party has a chance of winning seats, many voters will see giving the Conservative Party the biggest political kicking in history as a rational consolation prize. The electorate is used to disappointment, but don’t disgust your voters, there’s no plausible way back from that.

    Boris seems to understand this, and one benefit of having a morally flexible rogue as PM is that he’s unlikely to be interested in being thrown out of office in disgrace to satisfy people who already hate him.

  21. Today’s Spectator Coffee House Shots podcast with Stephen Bush is worth a listen. Great insight into Labour’s lack of portion on Brexit.

  22. @Steve

    “Maybe, but not enough to save the Tories. No Brexit before the next election means a significant proportion of their voters go for the Samson Option.”

    Yes I meant to write that too. At the moment TBP are polling about 10% which is not enough to win a taxi-full of MPs given their inefficient geographic spread of votes, but if they got even 5% in a GE it would likely cost the Tories dozens of seats.

    But as you say, plenty of voters won’t care about that. Wouldn’t regard the Tory MPs as any great loss at all if they feel the party betrayed them.

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