The Brexit Bill – Commons Process
The Wicked Witch’s Brexit Bill has nearly completed its stages in the House of Commons. The Guardian has this: “Article 50 bill: May sees off attempt to give MPs veto over Brexit deal – Commons votes 326 to 293 to approve government plan that will give MPs vote on final Brexit deal on ‘take it or leave it’ basis”
As the report makes clear, there was a 326 to 293 vote to approve the government’s plan without amendment, with just seven Conservative rebels voting against their party and a few more abstaining. But the few Conservative abstentions were offset by six pro Brexit Labour MPs. So it looks as though the bill will pass all its Commons stages tonight without any meaningful amendment.
The Financial Times has this: “Parliament to have ‘take it or leave it’ vote on Brexit – Tories defeat Labour amendment that would have given MPs effective veto“.
The problem is, of course, that Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet has decided to support the Brexit bill regardless notwithstanding the fact that most of his party campaigned for a Remain vote.
The Daily Telegraph has this: “Brexit live: Jeremy Corbyn faces major rebellion as MPs prepare for final vote on Article 50 Bill“.
The Torygraph might even be right but if it should turn out to be right, it is doubtful that the numbers of rebels will be sufficient to modify the anticipated outcome.
A later post to the Telegraph live page has this: “Brexit live: Jeremy Corbyn denies he is stepping down as he faces major rebellion on Article 50 Bill“. If the denial is truthful, then it is a pity. The sooner we have an effective Leader of the Opposition the better.
In effect, the whole effort in the Divisional Court and the Supreme Court to require Parliament to have control over the Brexit process looks as it it has has been wasted .
The Scotsman reports: “Poll: Support for independence leaps after ‘hard Brexit’“.
The Article notes that MSP’s have rejected May’s proposals by 90 to 34 in the Scottish Parliament. That is unsurprising. The Scots have always had a much better understanding of economics and finance than the English. They know on which side of the bread the butter is to be found. The problem is, of course that nothing that happens in Scotland is going to persuade Corbyn to do the right thing. Since the 2015 General Election there has only been a single Scottish Labour MP in Westminster.
The Mirror gets it right: “The rules of Brexit: Mirror Politics morning briefing – The Government’s Brexit plans could see us fall back on WTO rules. This could be worst of all options“. On its website the Mirror even provides a link to the Institute for Government’s explanation of WTO Rules: “Brexit Explained: 10 things to know about the World Trade Organization (WTO)“.
It looks as though the bill will be read a third time in the House of Commons this evening and go to the House of Lords without the protections which would have been desirable and eminently possible if Corbyn had not failed in his duty to provide an effective opposition.