The surprising size of Dominic Grieve’s majority last night on his amendment to the programme motion on the handling of the ‘meaningful vote’ debate means that we are, in effect, in a ‘REMAIN’ Parliament.
In which case, there is a good chance that Hilary Benn’s amendment on Tuesday may be carried. This would mean that we would never actually reach a vote on the Government’s deal, it follows that those Tories planning to rebel and vote down the deal, will not get the opportunity to do so.
I have said in this column before that the basic problem is that the country voted for BREXIT but then elected a parliament without a majority to deliver it.
What would happen next?
Again, I’ve said in this column, that whatever the Commons then votes for is just an expression of opinion that does not bind the Government. The Withdrawal Act ensures that we leave on 29th March and only ministers can bring forward legislation to alter that.
So, will the BREXIT Government hold its nerve against the demands of the REMAIN Parliament?
It’s just too soon to tell.
(Perhaps Parliament might be prorogued…but then we really would be in Charles II territory)