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London, March 14, 2019: British MP’s vote on a number of indicative votes in the House of Commons to help the government gain some understanding of where Parliament sits on each potential pathway forward through the final days of the Brexit process.
At least, that’s what we were led to believe.
What actually happened was that Theresa May loaded a Trojan Horse into the day’s festivities and thereby received permission from Parliamentarians for an Article 50 extension.
Which was her only goal methinks, the rest of it was for show.
One Good Thing…
One good thing that came about in the voting was the complete lack of enthusiasm for a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ (a 2nd referendum on leaving the EU) which was soundly defeated 334 votes to 85 — a margin of 249 votes.
So the 2nd referendum proposal dies in Parliament allowing MP’s to get on with sifting through the dozens of other indicative proposals in a process that will push the more popular propositions to the top of the government’s priority list. (Let’s hope)
And One Bad Thing…
But not everything went well as MP’s backed the government’s motion (413 votes to 202) to extend Article 50 beyond the promised March 29, 2019 deadline.
It’s the worst thing Parliament has done since Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (1937-1940) decided to appease, rather than confront, the mounting threat in Europe. Which (policy) didn’t end well.
Nor will this end well, a vote that rewards Prime Minister Theresa May’s lack of accomplishment towards a viable Withdrawal Agreement (which UK voters didn’t vote for on the referendum ballot) but which Theresa May tells us is of the utmost importance (it isn’t) and which has worked to lower peoples’ perceptions of the quality of government and timeliness of government they receive from their elected officials.
I fully expect at the next General Election there will be a thorough housecleaning as voters won’t forget what they were promised ad nauseam since July 2016, and what The Government writ large has massively failed to deliver.
Let’s remember some of these oft-repeated Theresa May statements that the country was led to believe framed her will on Brexit:
- “Brexit Means Brexit”
- “Brexit Delayed is Brexit Denied.”
- “No Deal is Better Than a Bad Deal”
- “The UK Will Regain Control of its Money”
- “The UK Will Become The Great Meritocracy”
- “Nothing is Agreed Until Everything is Agreed.”
- “The UK Will No Longer be Subject to a Foreign Court”
- “The UK Will Regain the Right to Write its Own Trade Deals”
- “The UK Will Regain Control of its Borders and Immigration”
- “The UK Will be Leaving the European Union on March 29, 2019.”
Rewarding Theresa May and her government for failing to deliver on every promise made about Brexit over the past 3-years by giving her even more time to fail is outrageous.
MP’s should hang their heads in shame and walk humbly among The People wearing only sackcloth and ashes for the next 10-years to atone for their inability to hold the Prime Minister to account and for lowering the threshold of good government, generally.
A well-known truism states that “Every day, we teach others how to treat us,” and members of the House of Commons have just taught Theresa May that incompetence, false promises, and weak government, will be rewarded with more time to accomplish more of the same (which, on the Brexit file, is piss-all thus far) and it’s shameful what MP’s have done.
No government in history has accomplished less in 994-days on their main policy platform than the Theresa May government.
Let me be clear! If Brexit doesn’t occur on March 29, 2019 as promised by the government Theresa May should be fired for non-performance. If you can’t get the job done in 1009-days (June 23, 2016 – March 29, 2019) then you don’t deserve the job!
Is that really so hard for the snowflake generation to understand?
On Top of All That: The EU is Under No Obligation to Grant an Article 50 Extension
It should be noted that the EU is under no obligation to extend the Article 50 deadline and that many senior EU and EC officials have said that the UK government would need to provide a good reason to extend the deadline. Apparently, the EU won’t simply extend the deadline just because British politicians ask for it.
Which seems completely appropriate and I will support the EU if it won’t agree to an Article 50 extension. There’s already been too much economic uncertainty, and for too long.
Brexit: Theresa May’s Job-For-Life
Theresa the Remainer has said all the right things since she accepted the job of UK Prime Minister in July 2016, yet here we are 994-days later, and now she wants an extension to get the job done that she should’ve accomplished within months of the EU referendum vote.
It seems that if you let her, Theresa May will turn the job of securing a Brexit into a job for life — a job that never completes — so that we always need her at the helm to steer it through. (That appears to be the strategy for her to remain as Prime Minister forever)
Micheal Gove could’ve gotten the job done in 1-year although he might have ruffled a few feathers in Brussels. Jacob Rees-Mogg, for another example, could’ve gotten the job done in 2-years and it would’ve been a very gentlemanly Brexit indeed, however, he wouldn’t have understood the Eurocrat mindset which might’ve caused him consternation. And Boris Johnson would’ve made a titanic success of Brexit but may have caused hard feelings between the UK and EU governments.
Still, the job of Brexit would’ve been done and dusted long ago, minus gazillions of tons of uncertainty over the past 994-days were any of those three in the PM’s chair since July 2016. Theresa May certainly isn’t indispensable as regards Brexit.
So why keep her?
As Theresa May herself has said many times, “Brexit delayed is Brexit denied,” and sending an Article 50 extension request to the EU now would kick the Brexit can down the road. Significantly.
People are beginning to tire of all this Brexit talk, it’s already dying of overexposure in the media spotlight at Day 994. Imagine how Britons will feel at Day 1374! (994 + 15 more days until March 29, 2019 + a 365 day Article 50 extension)
As I said at the outset, Theresa May loaded a Trojan Horse into today’s House of Commons proceedings and in the excitement not one person recognized how profoundly she’s changed the Brexit story.
Now she imagines she has a job for life — and for the next 12-months she’ll only fan the flames of Brexit whenever she needs support to stay in power.
Eventually, she knows that Brexit will die of overexposure in the public domain. But not to worry, she’ll have found something else by then to keep her in power, thanks to those MP’s who choose to reward mediocre Prime Ministers.
“Brexit Delayed is Brexit Denied”
Theresa the Remainer was right! Brexit delayed, is indeed, Brexit denied.
I’m beginning to think that Theresa the Remainer decided long ago that the best way to keep her job for the longest amount of time and to stop Brexit was to delay Brexit for as long as possible.
“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
And her enablers are those MP’s who reward Prime Ministers who can’t (or don’t want to) succeed at their primary (and oft-stated) goal.
Just in Case You’re Interested in What Britons Think About Delaying Brexit…
But it’s likely you aren’t interested in what Britons think if you’re one of the 413 UK politicians who voted for an Article 50 extension in today’s House of Commons vote, but some 43% of Britons don’t want any further Brexit delay, they just want it over and done so as to end the present period of economic uncertainty — while 38% of Britons want to delay Brexit in hopes that Brexit will simply fade away.
The elephant in the room that you fail to see, Theresa May, is that the EU wants a People’s Vote Labour Government and your party is bleeding MP’s at a rate of four per month. Do the math!
It’s clearly in the EU’s best interest to delay Brexit in the hope that Theresa May’s party will continue losing four Conservative MP’s/month until they no longer command a majority in the UK House of Commons whereupon Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would contrive a Vote of No Confidence in the government thereby triggering a General Election.
And the spectacle of almost 3-years of Brexit negotiations that haven’t gone anywhere isn’t doing the public mood any good. Therefore, in a General Election, Labour could capture some 325-seats and the Conservative Party would go down in flames.
Jeremy Corbyn (almost) can’t lose now that other opposition parties — including the new Independent Group freshly buoyed with former Conservative Party MP’s — could combine forces to bring down the government. (And it’s conceivable that more Conservative defections could still occur)
Don’t look now, but the sharks are circling, Theresa — and it’s you they’re circling.
If you don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is capable of pulling-off such an upset you’ve seriously underestimated his capabilities!
It doesn’t matter if they don’t agree policy. What matters is that they could work together on an ABM platform (ABM = Anyone But May) to bring down the government.
Just What the EU Wants: Another ‘People’s Vote’
And (obviously) the most direct path to cancelling Brexit is via an Article 50 extension to provide enough time for Remainers, for Remain-fixated media types, for the EU, and for the Labour Party to ‘play’ or ‘game’ the Brexit narrative until they get the result they want — which is a cancelled Brexit and a cap-in-hand UK asking to be readmitted to the EU because it wasn’t competent enough to arrange a viable exit from the European Union.
Jeremy Corbyn is on record calling for a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ to further confirm or deny the Brexit that UK citizens voted for. (Notwithstanding that there have already been two ‘People’s Votes’ — the June 23, 2016 referendum and the June 8, 2017 UK General Election where every party that won seats, ran on a pro-Brexit platform)
But Theresa May ‘played’ the Brexit card for too long and will now get burned unless she acts quickly to regain lost momentum.
Just as the frustration level with the (almost 3-year-long) Brexit process is about to peak, Jeremy Corbyn, his Labour Party, and the EU, appear to have played their cards exceptionally well in calling for another EU referendum at this moment and the chance for a Labour election landslide is high should Theresa May try to extend the Article 50 Brexit date beyond March 29, 2019.
You couldn’t make this up if you tried!
BEFORE You Lose the Next Election, Theresa, Consider These Points:
- …continue to try to thrash your amended Withdrawal Agreement and your beautifully-written-but-legally-meaningless Political Declaration through the House of Commons you’ll bleed evermore MP’s and hand the government to Jeremy Corbyn and his party before you realize what’s happened.
- ….seek to extend Article 50, you might lose even more MP’s to the Independent Group and Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister before you know it.
- …prevent an Article 50 extension vote from occurring tomorrow and instead drop in an EFTA + UK control of immigration option for MP’s to vote on as an indicative proposition, you’ll change the entire Brexit conversation in a positive way! And goodness knows the resolution might actually pass in the House of Commons with a healthy majority. Whereupon, you’d be on the fast-track to Brexit (as the EU has previously approved the EFTA + UK control of immigration option) and your personal life/life satisfaction would dramatically improve and your government could get back to governing instead of tying itself in knots.
- …resign your position as Prime Minister and hand the reins of power to Micheal Gove — he’ll get Brexit done and make it look easy — and he’ll do it without losing MP’s. And you could take-up the position of the Leader of the House of Commons (Andrea Leadsom’s present position) while Andrea Leadsom could move to the House of Lords where she’ll be graciously welcomed to finish out her political career.
- …cancel Brexit altogether, at this late date(!) the Conservative Party might cease to exist in the future and such is the present mood of the public that you might lose your seat in Maidenhead and the chance to become a member of the House of Lords at some future date.
Like it or not, those are your choices, Theresa May.
There aren’t any other viable choices, so you’ve got to choose between those five. And you’ve got to decide before 10:00am to allow the Speaker of the House of Commons enough time to be properly informed about what’s planned for the day.
‘Leading from behind’ (or being behind the curve) isn’t an option for you any longer.
It’s time to stick your neck out and make a decision; One that costs you the fewest MP defections and changes the entire, sorry, and disjointed Brexit narrative, thereby putting some power back into UK politics which is looking uncharacteristically weak in recent months.
Video courtesy of Channel 4 News
Rise, and rise again, until lambs become lions, Theresa May!
London, UK: Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government loses a historic vote in the UK House of Commons on her cherished (and reworked) Withdrawal Agreement by a vote of 391-242, a margin of 149 votes.
History: On January 23, 2016 an historic vote was held where 52% of those Britons who cared to show up at the polls, voted to Leave the European Union. They didn’t vote for a complicated Withdrawal Agreement, nor did they vote for a high-sounding, but non-legally binding Political Declaration.
Britons voted to Leave the EU. Nothing more, nothing less. They didn’t vote for a Withdrawal Agreement, nor did they vote for a Political Declaration.
Subsequent to the EU referendum, the UK held a General Election in June of 2017 where all UK political parties as part of their party platform supported Brexit. Not one party ran on an anti-Brexit platform. And no surprise there, as each party was simply mirroring the will of The People since the June 2016 EU referendum.
Since that time, Prime Minister Theresa May and EU negotiators have been attempting to agree a deal for the UK to leave the European Union over-and-above the simple wishes of the UK electorate and that proposed deal has become known as the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
That’s the deal that was voted down in the House of Commons in January 2019 by a historic margin of 230 votes. Never in British history had a bill been so resoundingly defeated.
Now that same bill with minor changes has been voted down by British MP’s by a healthy 149 votes.
I suspect that much of the failure of this latest iteration of the bill was because MP’s had only a few hours to study the reworked (and incredibly complex) Withdrawal Agreement, as Theresa May presented the new version less than one day before it was up for a Parliamentary vote. Très gauche, Theresa!
Near-Term Parliamentary Process: Tomorrow (March 13, 2019) MP’s will vote on the so-called ‘No Deal’ scenario and on March 14th they will vote on whether the UK should go to the EU (cap in hand) to ask for an Article 50 extension — to give more time to UK and EU negotiators to come up with a deal — notwithstanding that 2.5 years hasn’t been long enough and notwithstanding that not one single issue will have changed in the meantime, and the EU is under no obligation whatsoever to accept an Article 50 extension.
Let me repeat that statement; If an Article 50 extension is requested by the UK, the EU is under no obligation to accede to that request, nor will any issue have changed (nor the opinions behind them) in the meantime. Therefore, what exactly would be the point of the UK applying for, or the EU accepting, an Article 50 extension?
See? There’s no logical reason to extend the Article 50 deadline.
And from the point of view of UK voters, an Article 50 extension would reward mediocrity — the kind of mediocrity that is represented by 2.5 years of limp-wristed and on-again-off-again negotiating that doesn’t deserve another chance.
What Would Margaret Thatcher Do?
Anyone who saw how Margaret Thatcher operated would know that she wouldn’t have done the EU dance, allowing them to call the tune every step of the way.
For tomorrow’s vote, Maggie would’ve simply whipped her MP’s to vote for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit — and that would be the end of the present 2.5 year-long period of economic uncertainty — and it by far would be the best thing for the UK economy and for Britons wondering where all this unguided or lightly guided Brexit will end-up.
Sometimes, You Have to Do the Smartest Thing – Which Can Sometimes be the (Temporarily) Unpopular Thing
And that’s what Theresa May hasn’t yet learned.
Margaret Thatcher, on the other hand, learned over her long career that no matter what promises have been made, no matter how uncomfortable the short-term might be, no matter the (short-term) howls of protest, senior politicians must stand up and do what’s best for the country, and do it with a sense of urgency and purpose.
And what’s best for the UK at this moment in history is for Theresa May to ‘whip’ her MP’s tomorrow to support an automatic ‘No Deal’ Brexit and just get Brexit done and dusted — thereby putting a definite and permanent end to the present economic uncertainty.
Her detractors will say, ‘Yes, but Theresa May is no Margaret Thatcher!’ and whatever else anyone ever said about her, Maggie commanded a high degree of respect from her political friends and enemies due to her having the courage to always and without fail do ‘the right thing’ as she saw it — no matter the obstacles.
If Prime Minister Theresa May can summon her inner Margaret Thatcher tonight and direct her Parliamentary whips to force every Conservative MP to vote FOR a ‘No Deal’ Brexit tomorrow, all the uncertainty building in the UK economy would dissipate within a matter of days. And Britons and UK stakeholders could get on with the job of making Brexit Britain an astonishing success story and the EU could concentrate on its internal problems. Phew!
It would be the defining moment of Theresa May’s premiership.
The entire world would thank the Prime Minister and breathe a sigh of relief. Yes, even in Brussels!
Small numbers of Remainers might complain for a few days, but on the whole, being decisive now would solve more problems than continuing along the present course.
Can Theresa May (BPE) the Bureaucrat Par-Excellence make the switch to Theresa May (PPE) Politician Par-Excellence and be the politician that’s so desperately needed at this crucial moment in Britain’s history?
We’ll soon know.