Last night’s votes gave no Brexit option a majority in Parliament – but referendum obsession of small parties puts country at risk of no-deal Brexit
None of the options put to MPs last night achieved anything like a majority. Contrary to the spin by remain supporters, the ‘confirmatory public vote’ option was not the nearest to a majority.
Even without a Tory whip and with the backing of Labour’s leadership, that option lost by twenty-seven votes. There is simply no majority in Parliament for another referendum of any type.
But while Jeremy Corbyn backed the confirmatory option M, the Lib Dems, SNP, ‘Tinge’ group – and even Green Caroline Lucas – did not return the favour by backing Corbyn’s alternative Brexit plan that would have protected the UK from both May’s disastrous attempt at a deal and from a no-deal exit.
While Labour showed discipline to back Corbyn’s deal, the ‘Tinge’ group of quitter MPs and their hangers-on like John Woodcock voted against it, as did the LibDems’ Cable and Hobhouse. The SNP abstained in entirety, along with Plaid and the majority of LibDems:
Had the non-Labour MPs supposedly most opposed to a ‘hard’ Brexit voted for Corbyn’s ‘soft Brexit’ deal, it would have had over three hundred votes – and that’s without the handful of Labour MPs who abstained and who would mostly swing behind a Labour deal were one under negotiation with the EU.
Instead, they abstained or voted against the option that would have insured the UK against the no-deal ‘Tory Brexit’ they say they fear most.
The effect of this was to push the UK closer to the no-deal ‘cliff edge’, as those same MPs often describe it – as Scottish journalist Kenny Farquharson observed:
Not only Sturgeon and the SNP but the others, too.
Last night’s votes served at least one useful purpose. They flushed out the brinkmanship and hypocrisy of many of the MPs who make the most noise about the dangers of a ‘Tory no-deal Brexit’.
Those reckless MPs showed themselves perfectly prepared to gamble the UK falling into exactly such a scenario, while they pursue a referendum that has zero chance of passing Parliament and would be opposed by most people in the population.
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