Over the course of three painful years, we’ve witnessed Theresa May march back and forth to the European Union attempting to strike deals that have been unanimously voted down; we’ve watched her face a vote of no confidence from both her party and parliament and we’ve seen strings of resignations on the back of her Brexit approach. Now, it’s looking like the very MPs who stood against her are pushing for everyone to back her deal.
In a week that promised so much, parliament proceeded to vote on a series of indicative votes, designed to steer the good ship Brexit back course. It was the last grasp chance for the backbenchers across both parties to vote freely on amendments to Theresa May’s zombie Brexit deal. The results however were bitterly disappointing for both die hard Brexiteers and Remainers alike.
Proposals from Conservative, Labour and SNP MP’s included plans that would see the UK leave with No Deal on April 12th (defeated by 240 votes), Jeremy Corbyn’s alternative Brexit plan (defeated by 70 votes) and a proposal for a confirmatory referendum which alarmingly was only defeated by 27 votes.
The amendment that commanded the most support, only defeated by 8 votes, was tabled by former Conservative chancellor Ken Clarke. The Clarke amendment sought to ensure that the United Kingdom would eventually join a newly formed customs union with the European Union to protect existing free-trade agreements after Brexit.
In the fresh aftermath of the first round of indicative votes, parliamentarians motioned for further fresh voting on April 1st. Before that can occur, members of parliaments will be required to vote for secondary aspects of Theresa May’s Withdrawal agreement deal – but not on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
Eager to cement her place in history as a martyr for Brexit, Theresa May announced to the 1922 committee that if those who previous rebelled against her Brexit deal voted in favour, she would resign her position and kick start a leadership contest within the Conservative party. Previous critics of the withdrawal agreement, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg have both since indicated that if Mrs May were to keep her word, they would be more than willing to take their chances to influence the next, more important negotiations with the EU.
Politicos, politicians and political journalists are certain the Prime Minister will return to parliament with a third meaningful vote on her so far failed withdrawal agreement. Rumblings across the houses of parliament have suggested anytime between next week, or as far as April 10th. Until then, the people of Great Britain must simply bide their time and place their faith in the very people who got us into this mess.