Politics Live, Channel 4 News, ITV Evening News, BBC News at Ten, & Newsnight 17 September 2018
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British Prime Minister Theresa May and her government face a no-confidence vote later today after lawmakers threw out her Brexit deal. It’s a major blow for the prime minister and the biggest defeat in parliament for a government in modern British history. If May’s government loses the confidence vote, it could trigger a general election and fresh chaos for the acrimonious Brexit process.
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Jeremy Hunt has rocked the Brexit boat by saying basically that the choice for MPs next Tuesday is either to vote for Theresa May’s deal or have no Brexit at all, which is at odds with Theresa May’s own position of her deal or no deal.
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But leaving the EU at 11pm on 29th March 2019 is currently enshrined in statute and can only be overridden by another statute and without government support that would not happen.
So, when Theresa May’s deal is voted down next week then, in order to fulfil the commitment to leave the EU, either another more acceptable deal needs to be quickly struck or more preferably, the government should straight away embark on a managed WTO exit from the European Union.
But Hunt said that it would be ‘very unrealistic’ to think that MPs would not be able to find a way of stopping a WTO based Brexit and that voting down May’s deal could lead to a sort of Brexit paralysis and possibly stop our exit from the EU.
But this ‘no Brexit’ option that Remain minded politicians keep harping on about is not a democratic option at all.
So, what is he up to?
Is this some sort of low grade attempt to scare the hard Brexiteers into backing May’s deal for fear that there is somehow a route to stopping Brexit altogether?
I for one don’t think that will gain any traction at all. Those that have read the deal understand full well the implications of it and how it is designed to lock the UK into EU vassalage in perpetuity. They are never going to give the UK away like that, especially as they know the voters are becoming more fully aware of the position day by day.
So the only ones voting for Theresa May’s abortive deal, are those that are quite happy to see the UK sucked into the EU mire for good and think that voters are too thick to notice or just want it all done and dusted however bad it is.
But with the amount of scrutiny this deal is getting and the information emerging on the Eurocrats self-preening over how good the deal is for them and how they’ve outwitted the UK, as well as the legally binding nature of the withdrawal agreement that does not include a legally binding trade deal to go with it – which will take many years to get to, if ever – will ensure that support for that deal is extremely limited.
The one group of people that it will give some heart to though, are those looking for a second EU referendum – the People’s Vote mob.
They will now be looking at what Jeremy Hunt said and thinking to themselves that maybe there is a direct route through to forcing a second referendum.
And that would have the effect of boosting the No to May’s deal vote amongst Remainer MPs across the House, not recruiting them.
The Lib Dems have jumped on this with their Brexit spokesperson, Tom Brake, responding that “the penny” had dropped with Jeremy Hunt and that his party is closer than ever to securing a people’s vote.
So, overall, all Jeremy Hunt seems have done is cause more damage to Theresa May’s deal and set the previously flagging Remainer second EU referendum hares running.
Norway Plus? More like EU-minus. That was the somewhat ‘inside Brexit’ barb from David Davis towards his former cabinet colleague Amber Rudd. He poured cold water on her suggestion that Britain could pursue a Norway-style deal and accept freedom of movement as part of membership of the single market and customs union.
Ahead of a meeting with Tory activists in Birmingham, he also warned the Prime Minister that the question was not whether, but how her deal would be defeated in the Commons.
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