January 29, 2019 by hasheyehosh
So I have recently been documenting my opinions on the developments concerning the ‘B’ word, as far back as late last November/early December 2018.
Below are some of the analyses and speculative options I have considered over the past couple of months or so, and the reality of where we stand as a nation as far as matters of exiting the European Union are concerned.
The writings are posted “verbatim” with minimal editing done in order that I may preserve the mood and mindset of the times at the point of writing each opinion or analysis.
About 2 weeks ago I speculated that – before the vote was pulled by Theresa May – there were a series of possible outcomes and routes to take if the vote were to go ahead as was planned for 11/12/18.
* I suggested that if the deal was voted through:
1. Theresa May would avoid a possible confidence vote by her own MPs
2. This would mean that she can carry on with her deal and reach the endorsement stage by the EU as final signing of treaty to mark our withdrawal from the block.
* If the deal was voted down, she could face a confidence vote in her party which would trigger a leadership race to find a new PM, that is if there’s any one candidate the party can unite against (appx. 158 mps needed to win the vote).
* May could likely also win the vote which would mean she was free from a leadership challenge for another 12 months, so she carries on with her plans.
* Labour naturally might not support the deal.
* The new PM would then either go back to Brussels and renegotiate the deal on new terms perhaps based on the offer of the models such as Canada++ or Norway etc or even propose to leave without a deal since Brexiters presumably wanted that in the referendum.
* However, this leadership challenge may also force Labour to table a motion of no confidence in the government, which
1. If Labour won would trigger a general election,
2. If lost then she carries on as PM and Labour could call for a people’s vote, although this would require legislation and chances are it won’t be passed by the way the numbers look in parliament, not to mention the DUP who won’t vote for the deal with the backstop.
BREAKING NEWS: The vote was pulled on the day it was meant to be held, with more than half of MPs still to speak in the debate!
* This further angered MPs on both sides of the house, and re-energised the hardliners’ push for a confidence vote in PM, with news now saying that 48 or more letters have gone to Sir Graham Brady, Chair of the 1922 committee, thereby triggering a leadership challenge to Theresa May!
* Labour had warned that if the deal was voted down, they would table a motion of confidence in the Government, hoping to trigger a general election.
* SNP & Lib-Dems have said they would back Corbyn if he tabled one.
* DUP still haven’t indicated support for Corbyn but things can change, and they are more inclined to vote with the government in a confidence vote in order to get a Tory willing to leave without the backstop such as Boris who suggested that they withhold some of the money (half) of the financial settlement £39 billion until they’ve got a trade deal like FTA in place as an incentive and also genuinely be prepared to walk away.
TORIES have triggered a leadership challenge to Theresa May!
* If she stands, and wins, she’s safe for another year,
* If she resigns, then new people are on the ballot such as Sajid Javid current Home Secretary, and Boris Johnson backbencher, Amber Rudd, Esther Mcvey etc.
* Labour will most likely table a motion of no confidence in the government, and could trigger a general election.
* There may be a need to revoke article 50 as the CJEU ruled the UK can unilaterally do so, or
* There may be a need to extend article 50 to call for a people’s vote on Theresa May’s deal
* 0912am/// 12/12/18 Theresa May will contest the vote of confidence. This means she’s going to stand against anyone wishing to challenge her.
* If she loses she must certainly resign, and a new conservative MP will become PM after being voted for in the party.
I have previously said that this vote will now put brexit at a stall, for at least another month or thereabouts.
Theresa May won the leadership contest 200 : 117; a majority of 83.
* She is now safe for another 12 months as far as leadership contests in the Conservative party are concerned,
* Labour won’t call for a general election through a confidence motion in the government in case it should lose it, because the deal has not yet been put to a vote, and thus not been declared won or lost yet, at which point if it were to be lost then they will table that motion.
* The trouble is if they delay too much, those willing to support Labour may wear off in frustration or indeed table their own motion.
* Theresa may is still wandering around Brussels and other European capitals in search of “fresh concessions” from EU leaders, even though she had previously said that her deal is the “best deal and only deal on the table”.
* So it is very unlikely that EU leaders will be able to offer more concessions on the deal, as they too have repeatedly asserted that the deal is not up for renegotiation, and to make matters worse, May is looking for “legal and political” assurances on the backstop, so as to perhaps assuage the fears of those that especially voted down her leadership, that the backstop will not be permanent, and declare that they don’t intend to use it as they will be working for a deal that subsequently turns the Withdrawal Agreement and Future Relationship into the new Treaty between the parties.
* My view is that they they will not change the backstop fundamentally, but for some clarifications on the backstop, and certainly will not remove the backstop.
* The only other options on the side of the EU is:
1. For the UK to unilaterally revoke article 50 but only to remain and for no other reason such as to stop the clock and restart it afterwards. Especially because the CJEU ruled that The UK can leave unilaterally.
2. For the UK to extend article 50 so as to pass a referendum on leaving or staying in the EU for the second time.
3. For the UK to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, which is also the default position and they had expected this a long time ago when May said no deal is better than a bad deal
* The options on the side of the UK government are:
1. To also prepare for no deal as it’s the default position legally
2. No deal at the same time is very unpopular among parliamentarians, as there is no majority for it, which means that with the recent government defeat on the Grieve amendment which gives parliament power over what happens next should May’s deal be voted down, it very well may be that parliament votes to amend May’s deal, something I already predicted during the early deliberations, by instructing her to go and extend article 50 so that they can have a referendum and possibly remain in the EU, or even leave with one of the off-the-shelf models like Canada plus plus Norway minus etc.
3. If May has not already asked the EU to extend article 50 to do exactly the above and is only waiting to return and inform us about it in a statement that may shock a few heads.
4. I believe this to be likely because there’s a majority of some sort for this deal to go back to the people when it’s voted down, which is also Labour’s third option after voting down the deal and calling for a general election, as well as SNP who want to remain in the EU and will most certainly back a second referendum hoping for a remain win.
5. When May returns from the EU, keeping in mind she has to put the vote to the people and not keep pushing it down, by 21/01/19 as she must as per the EU Withdrawal Act 2018, she will still face a defeat which will trigger all the options of a referendum and/or general election because the DUP will not support it while it still has the dreaded backstop and she may not get any fundamental changes, and she needs their support to get the deal through, not to mention the 117 conservatives mps that voted down her leadership, or even those that voted for her in the confidence motion but fundamentally disagree with her deal and want legal changes.
6. In order to get more conservatives on her side, she will need to dramatically change her stance on brexit, and try to reach out to the dissenters in her party as well as those opposed to her deal in the opposition parties.
7. This can be through calling for a second referendum, as there was a lot of support for it across the house of commons, and it could therefore pass the house and we leave with a deal on 29 March 2019; but to do this she would have needed to have extended article 50, since many MPs may not like brexit but they respect the will of the people and as long as they can make brexit a success, by not ruining the economy through a no deal, and she could then pass legislation for it because it would get many people on her side, and she can ignore the extreme brexiters in her party, who just lost a confidence motion and now she has the upper hand in that she can just tell them back me or I’ll go for a very soft brexit or even call for a referendum on leaving, something I’m sure brexiters are most afraid of – no brexit – considering that there’s widespread support for it among some members of the public, based on some large polling data obtained and conducted by Channel 4 a few weeks ago.
8. However there’s the issue of the backstop, which she intends to include some legal text or addendum of some sort to “reassure” MPs that the backstop will be temporary and is not likely to be used, and would need to get the EU to move a little to her rescue on this especially if they want a deal too and since they indicated their appreciation of it by signing onto it recently a few weeks back.
9. The no deal scenario is less likely also for one other reason, that parliament won’t allow it to happen, and if she cannot rule it out, they will add an amendment to do so, and force her to go back and get a better deal or she will at this time just have to resign.
10. There’s not going to be a majority in the Conservative party for a general election, because they have already secured a promise of some form from Theresa May that they don’t want her to lead them in the next generation election (unplanned or the one in 2022) which makes me wonder if they are intending to actually bring about one..?? Which is why I don’t think there’ll be one just yet, unless:
* When the deal is voted down, Labour wins its confidence motion as they’re planning on doing it when they have the best chance of winning, and at the moment the DUP aren’t keen on Labour, not until they’ve seen what May brings back from the EU, and for them it must be either to remove the backstop, which EU won’t do, or to add a legal guarantee that it will time bound and limited.
* All in all Theresa May is not safe in the wider context outside her party challenge yesterday.
1. If the PM doesn’t get the concessions she is looking for, and they must be legal, then the DUP will vote with Jeremy Corbyn on the confidence motion and they had previously said they would back her deal if she got the backstop out.
2. This is why Labour is waiting for what she brings back, so that their options can get in place.
3. But the SNP and other parties are calling in JC to force a general election, something they know they won’t win without the DUP on their side.
4. For Labour and the DUP to work together, keep in mind the DUP wants to leave the EU even without a deal so they can be far away from Ireland, and closer to the UK because they are a unionist party, Labour would need to change their policy on wanting a permanent customs union and single market arrangement proposal, something I find extremely unlikely.
5. That means the second referendum is more likely, and on this there seems to be cross party support;
6. But Labour will most certainly want a general election as a priority, although they want all those options off the table before they can call for a second referendum as they feel it would justify why they did it.
Sun 16/12/18 @1435: Current row between PM and ex Pm Tony Blair.
This row of the PMs began when Tony Blair criticised May on her brexit proposal, saying it would please no one and that she should switch course and call for a second referendum.
May responded with a scathing reply calling the ex PM “irresponsible” and that interference with the brexit argument by calling for a second referendum was “insulting” to the office he once held and the people he once served. Blair responded in kind with a reiteration of his argument that it’s the “logical” and “sensible” thing to do if the PM is to break this impasse in parliament, to call a referendum on the final deal she has negotiated or put it to a vote first in parliament and if there’s no consensus then back to the people in a referendum.
All this while there’s reports of further divisions in the Conservative party about where next to go, with the confidence motion already a thing of the past and there still being absolutely no prospect of the PMs deal passing in the House of Commons as it hasn’t been fundamentally changed in legally enforceable ways (yet). The PM thinks there’s still wiggle room on the deal for the EU to make legal changes to the effect of clarifications on the “potential indefinite” nature of the backstop, but the EU aren’t budging on this one saying there’s no mandate for Donald Tusk to renegotiate, and therefore the agreement is not open to renegotiation.
My view is now increasingly that the PM will resign in a shock move to the nation, perhaps in protest to the second referendum pressures in her party or the momentum to even revoke article 50 and remain in the EU on current terms; or in frustration that she has truly reached a brick wall and the only options out of her impasse are the one she least likes and therefore loathes enough to resign over, a perfect way for her to bow out but also to leave the tangled mess up to the incoming leader to clean up, presumably Jeremy Corbyn, as it surely would most likely trigger a general election rather than just another replacement of Theresa May, much like her predecessor David Cameron who also called the referendum and resigned after the result was not what he campaigned for, only for May to replace her after a parliamentary vote, albeit not after many favourites pulled out of the contest – predominantly brexiters.
However, if she doesn’t resign, then she’ll be forced to adopt a new position on her brexit stance, although this is looking increasingly unlikely, or she’ll have to accept whatever her cabinet suggests is the way out and she could just say “I’ve listened to the voices on both sides of the argument” and there is a strong majority for another referendum, something I totally do not agree with but I can understand the concerns about my deal… so am calling a vote on my deal, no deal or remaining in the EU.
These options would have to be decided on by parliament in effect, in order to legislate for a referendum. At this point the PM would be under immense pressure to resign for shambolic handling of brexit, and Labour might have as well called the no confidence motion at this point, where it would have the maximum chance of winning it to trigger a general election.
Tories naturally wouldn’t vote for a general election, but, in the interest of changing PM with no option of another confidence vote for 12 months, would do so if it meant those cabinet ministers and others who want profound changes to the deal therefore threatening to vote May’s deal down would want to compete in a general election to allow for a brexiter to lead the Conservative party into it; this may be why Theresa May agreed to stand down before next general election which in theory could be anytime from when she said so, and I believe this would be the time they force her to resign and take the reigns of the party in an effort to minimise the chances of Corbyn entering Number 10, and to tame the subsequent fury of brexiters who would feel betrayed by their MPs voting for a second vote, by putting themselves forward as the voice of true brexit or original brexit aka hard brexit aka no deal brexit aka cliff edge brexit aka crushing-out-without-a-deal brexit … et cetera.
On the other hand, if the deal is first put to parliament and they vote it down as expected, whether this is in January or the week before brexit, we can expect Labour to table its motion of no confidence in the government; which it’s likely to win with the thinnest of majorities.
This would be due to the DUP either abstaining thus causing a minority vote for the government, or voting with Labour to oust the government altogether, mainly because they would feel that their backstop redline would not have been respected and in which case they publicly declared they would vote with Labour in a confidence motion against the government.
The only way for PM to avoid this is to get actual legal guarantees from Brussels, but this will not happen and it will eventually be over for the PM, unless, she makes another u-turn in favour of the referendum or unilaterally revokes article 50 or even more likely embraces the so-called no-deal scenario.
If she were to embrace the no deal scenario, which she has been preparing for as well over the recent months, she would have the support of most brexiters around the country, which means she could try and sideline parliament again, except this time they have more power over what happens next when her deal is eventually brought to parliament for a vote; this time they will vote on the amendments to the deal such as revoke article 50 (perhaps in favour of resumption to normalcy and day to day lives and government business), extend article 50, Leave without a deal, and Remain.
Some seniors in the Conservative Party are arguing for a no deal brexit, while the others are opposed to it and instead believe Theresa May’s deal is worth the vote and who knows where they’ll get the numbers, perhaps they’re counting on MPs from Leave constituencies voting with their constituents in mind and not denying them their result from the last referendum in 2016. But they still need the DUP, unless they have found enough Labour rebels willing to support them instead.
Meanwhile, Labour may just slip through the cracks here and take its opportunity to form a government as the Conservatives are eating each other alive.
Thats where my analysis ended just before New Year’s Day 2019.
I will update you on where things stand as of this year, because I have already written up a few ideas based on the current deadlock in Parliament and the confusion within the Government, not to mention the shambolic indecision, who knows where we are headed! And it doesn’t help when news coming in is that in the event of a No Deal Brexit, Armageddon is finally coming because we could see martial law declared to calm things down with the public, there would be a nationwide panic about food shortages, delays with medicines e.t.c. So we had better be braced for this one!