This week MPs voted again during the final stages on a Lord’s amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill to give MPs a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal. This is something that is vital to prevent a hard Tory Brexit. The amendment was tabled by Tory rebel Dominic Grieve and, if passed, would have ensured that in the Govt would have to put the deal they negotiate to Parliament in a meaningful way rather than simply presenting Parliament with the final deal, however inadequate, or a no deal Brexit which would be hugely damaging for all of us.
On the Sunday before the vote it seemed Grieve and the Tory rebels would stand by his amendment even if this would, in his own words, “collapse the Government”. By Wednesday this all changed when the Prime minister scrambled to stave off yet another embarrassing defeat at the hands of a dozen of her own MPs. To put an end to the Tory rebellion Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis issued an eleventh hour ministerial statement explaining that it would ultimately be up to the Speaker of the House to decide whether MPs could amend the government’s plans if no deal is reached by 21st January.
This meant nothing beyond stating the current standing orders and was not a real concession. It was a sop. Grieve then announced he would no longer be backing his own amendment, saying he would “accept the government’s difficulty” and support the government’s compromise. Ultimately he was convinced that bringing down the Government and forcing another general election was too big a step for him to take. Without the support of the Tory rebels Labour were unable to secure this essential amendment. This leaves the possibility of a meaningful Parliamentary vote on the final deal uncertain though there will be many more opportunities to try and do this again on other Brexit legislation.
Here in Liverpool the majority of people voted to remain.. Without a meaningful vote for MPs on the final deal it seems more and more likely that our weak PM will be forced by her extremists to engineer a hard Tory Brexit. This means crashing out of the Single Market and Customs union and putting many of my constituents’ livelihoods and futures in jeopardy.
The Prime Minister has managed to cling on for another week, by disgracefully putting her own survival in Office ahead of any concept of protecting the national interest of people’s livelihoods and the economic well-being of all. She is still negotiating with her own cabinet more than with the EU 27 and each passing day is doing more damage to the UK. This is the most appalling, incompetent Govt in living memory and we must take any opportunity to bring it down.