This week saw the worst of the dirty tricks and desperation that our increasingly authoritarian Tory Government have tried to stay in office and get their Brexit legislation through Parliament. On Monday we saw Theresa May capitulate to Jacob Rees-Mogg and the hardline No-deal Brexiteers as she accepted amendments to Brexit legislation that wrecked within days the so called “Chequers deal” and her White Paper about what kind of Brexit she is pursuing.
The Government is in chaos, their Brexit strategy’s a shambles, and now they’re trying to move summer recess forward to avoid a leadership challenge and save the PM’s job. Watch more below ⬇️⬇️
Posted by Maria Eagle MP on Tuesday, July 17, 2018
This made a nonsense of her negotiating position which has now reverted to being logically impossible to deliver. Let’s be clear, these amendments were designed by the hardliners to be wrecking amendments so it is ridiculous that she accepted them. Her hardline Brexiteers want a no deal and are working to get it. This would be the most disastrous form of Brexit – none of them are good for jobs and our economy – but no-deal would inflict immediate enormous harm on our economy and country which may take years to recover from.
On Tuesday, we were able to inflict a defeat on the Government with the help of rebel ex-remain Tories to stay in the European Medicines Agency. I am sure the Government will try and reverse this in the Lords. However, the big prize, an amendment saying we should stay in the Customs Union, was defeated when five Labour MPs (one sitting as an independent because he is under investigation for misconduct) voted with the hardline Brexiteers and the Government. If we had defeated the Government in this vote we may have had the chance to bring down the Tories, or at least to have a vote of no confidence in the Commons. It is pretty difficult to understand therefore why they felt it necessary to support the Government rather than think of a reason not to.
It was in this vote that it has since emerged that the Tory Chief whip instructed some of his MPs to deliberately break pairing arrangements and that the Chairman of the Tory Party, Brandon Lewis, did so. Both of them then appear to have lied about it as well as causing the PM and Leader of the House to mislead the Commons. This is an outrage that potentially make it impossible to manage business in the Commons. I think Labour now has to consider withdrawing all co-operation with them as a punishment. This is not an easy option because it means dragging all MPs to the Commons for every vote no matter what the state of their health, family circumstances or other business they are supposed to be, quite properly, engaged in.
One thing is for certain. We cannot allow them simply to get away with this kind of behaviour with no consequences.
We also managed to put a stop to the ridiculous idea that the Commons should rise early just in order to stop Tory MPs plotting to remove the PM. The Govt put a motion on the Order Paper to bring forward the Summer recess but they withdrew it. I do not believe it would have passed. This seems silly but is indicative of an increasing trend where the Government arranges to rule without reference to Parliament – one more example to their authoritarian instincts. We must be vigilant and move to stop their tricks whenever we can.