Video: Downing St ‘war-gaming’ general election as amendment brings one closer

Today Theresa May’s desperation to win a vote in Parliament has led her to support two amendments to her ‘deal’ that would turn it into no deal at all – sending her back to the EU with a begging bowl and a request for the EU to do what it has always said it will not: remove the Irish backstop from the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement.

In effect, it amounts to tearing up the whole thing and begging the EU to start again – with just a couple of months to go until Brexit. May is plumbing new depths in the hope of anything that can be spun as even the thinnest of gruel.

At the same time, Labour has announced that it will back an amendment put forward jointly by Yvette Cooper and Tory Nick Boles to postpone Brexit day to allow time for a proper deal to be finalise.

One that the amendment’s success would make far likelier to be completed by a Labour government.

Labour’s leadership is looking at a delay of a few months, but the amendment would allow deferral until the year end. And Sky reported today that the even Downing Street is sufficiently aware that May’s dilemma is inescapable to be ‘war-gaming’ for a new general election as the only way out of May’s self-built dead end:

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Those dismissing a general election and claiming that a – hugely divisive – new referendum is the UK’s route out of May’s mess are exposed yet again.

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  1. Jeremy today has made it rather more likely that we would lose any such election by backing an extension to the Art 50 process (with no apparent plan as long as we are in Opposition) and his endless denunciation of No Deal.

    Governments get elected by winning seats rather than by winning raw votes. The seats which Labour needs to win are the 54 Labour-Conservative target seats. (Wins against the SNP, Lib Dems and PC – however welcome – do not by contrast reduce the number of Tory MPs relative to Labour MPs in the House.)

    Of those 54 Labour-Tory target seats, 41 voted Leave and 13 voted Remain. Almost 80% of the seats that we need voted Leave.

    The idea of ruling out “No Deal” is guaranteed to be unappealing to such voters for at least two reasons.

    First, unlike the corporations, a segment of Leave opinion strongly wants No Deal.

    Secondly, without the threat of No Deal a Labour government would have ZERO bargaining power. Zero bargaining power to have a customs union without being bound by CETA and future CETA-TTIP type deals. Zero power to have renationalisation. Zero power to have industrial subsidisation which distorts the single market.

    This whole delay lark is transparently a Blairite ruse to keep us in the EU disrespecting the referendum result. Indeed Jeremy’s speech could easily have been made by Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper as Leader. We’ve seen the emergence of a Corbynista-Blairite coalition based on Corbynista surrender.

    1. Danny 29/01/2019 at 4:20 pm

      It is difficult to see how the Labour Party’s policy could be any clearer on their opposition to no deal.
      “Conference also believes a no-deal Brexit should be rejected as a viable option and calls upon Labour MPs to vigorously oppose any attempt by this Government to deliver a no-deal outcome.”

      It also appears that a substantial number of constituencies have had a change of heart.

      “422 out of 632 constituencies in Great Britain no longer back Brexit. After the biggest poll yet, Best for Britain and Hope Not Hate have produced a new map of British attitude towards Brexit and the tide has turned. 193 constituencies that voted to leave in 2016 have changed their minds and now want to stay.”

    2. ” his endless denunciation of No Deal”#

      That much is (a) massively supported and (b) simple rationality and (c) Policy

      The idea that ‘NoDeal’ is a viable option that would do other thantank the economy is sheer La La Land.

      The idea that it would lead to a progressive social settlement is – literally – incredible. That’s why it’s a wet dream of the swivel-eyed right.

      The agreement between the ERG and Lexiteers says it all about the joint philosophy and the prospects. Venal on the one hand and gullible on the other. Same thing for the average Joe in the end.

  2. All amendments lost with DUP once again saving May’s skin.
    The important possibly binding Labour one I understand was to include an extension from 29 March to June 2019 and not what the Right in Labour wanted (12 months) with their cunning plan for a 2nd PV.
    The Tories united their ranks for now but May is probably unlikely to get the EC to change the backstop to an insurance policy which may change little and will the DUP rhen be seen as selling their cause out?
    But if the EC do the hard Tory Brexiteers if they vote for May’s Half-In/Half-Out Brexit may be seen as selling out too.
    Perhaps a GE is nearer and I hope left wing democatic socialists in Labour have time to select left wing democratic socialist Labour candidates to back JC.
    A JC Labour Govt Could Make A Better Brexit.

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