The ‘roadmap’ outlined below is not advocated. However, it indicates the kind of mental agility and manoeuverability that is likely to be needed to outflank the Tories for the sake of the country.
As MPs prepare to return to Westminster to debate and vote on Theresa May’s dismal Brexit ‘deal’ with the EU, another of the strange facets of the hung Parliament might reveal itself.
Labour is committed to voting down the Withdrawal Agreement and to defeating the government in a no-confidence motion, in order to force an early general election to relieve the country of the suffering inflicted by the Tories at the earliest possible opportunity.
But it might be necessary for Labour’s leadership to delay the first part in order to bring about the second, because of the way in which the specific sequence of events involved in the passage or defeat of the deal combined with the political realities among the parties.
The key to Labour’s tactics over the coming two weeks or so will be the DUP. Arlene Foster’s party has said that it will back the Tories in a confidence vote – unless May’s deal, with the Northern Irish ‘backstop’ still intact – passes the first stage.
To take effect, May’s deal must first pass the ‘meaningful vote’ in the Commons – stage 1 – and then an Act of Parliament must be passed to bring it into force.
Labour could not support May’s deal – but an abstention on stage 1 would bring things to the point where the DUP would be faced with a choice between bringing down the government or living with a backstop that would put it on a probably permanently-different basis to the rest of the UK.
And Foster and co – who would additionally respect such a show of strong nerve – have already indicated they would only be one option they could consider.
This could see a no-confidence vote in play, probably on Jan 22 – opening the door to a general election by 21 March and the opportunity for a Corbyn government to seek an extension to Article 50 when the EU commission meets that week.
This would almost certainly be granted to a new government, especially when Corbyn and his colleagues have long been establishing good relations with key EU players – and in accordance with Labour policy, all options would be on the table.
This would, of course, be a high-stakes – and stunningly audacious – move by Corbyn and his team – but it probably represents the most realistic chance for the UK to remove the Tories and achieve a ‘Labour Brexit‘ that would avoid the excesses the Tories are hoping for.
And for all its variables, it is a far more concrete chance than the so-called “people’s vote” that centrists and the liberal-Establishment media are still desperately pushing.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.