Theresa May escaped a likely fall from office over her trade bill this week by the skin of her teeth, thanks to unprecedented, cowardly surrenders to her hard right fringe and a betrayal of female MPs. But it looks like it was a futile exercise as a ruling by the House of Lords means she is likely to be sent back to square one.
The government had hoped to push through her bastardised trade bill without further debate by treating it as a ‘money bill’ – by convention, the House of Lords does not seek to amend or send back legislation over money issues, in which the elected Commons is considered to have primacy.
However, in the last few minutes the Speaker has ruled that it is not a money bill. This means that it will be discussed in the ‘other place’ and probably rejected – then sent back to the Commons debate, amendments and votes – possibly as early as next week or even this Friday.
No wonder Theresa May wanted to close Parliament early – an attempt she abandoned when Labour made clear they would fight it.
The beleaguered PM is scheduled to be in Ireland Thursday and Friday, which may well make any votes tighter – unless of course she cancels her visit.
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