Not Over Yet

After two significant votes in the House of Commons pointing in two different directions - one towards a Brexit agreement and the other towards a general election - we discuss where we might be heading. Does Johnson have enough to persuade the wavering MPs he needs to get his Brexit deal over the line? Do his opponents have enough to stop him? Can European leaders still force the issue? And if there is an election, does it all change again? Plus we ask: what's actually in the WAB? With Helen Thompson, Catherine Barnard and Chris Brooke.


Talking Points:


Last night was the first time since the Brady amendment that Parliament voted positively on something.

  • The stop Brexit MP’s seem to be implementing tactics without a strategy.
  • Are there any conditions under which the 14 Labour MPs would vote for Johnson’s deal for real?
  • The Labour whipping operation is still working. So it seems unlikely that a WA will go through this House of Commons.


Johnson’s deal is mostly Theresa May’s deal, with the exception of some really complicated legal points around Northern Island.

  • Until people are given an either/or choice, they’ll probably keep dancing around.


Where is the EU on all of this? 

  • They are unlikely to renegotiate another deal.
  • Macron could still force a choice between no deal and revoke, but he doesn’t want to be blamed for the UK crashing out.


At some point, an election is going to become inevitable.

  • Can anything pass without an election?
  • Things have changed for Johnson: now he’d be campaigning with a deal.
  • Christmas could put a wrench in things: would a winter election be bad for Labour?


How effective was a Benn act?

  • Perhaps more so than people originally thought. 
  • A shorter extension could reveal the weaknesses in the Benn act. But Macron probably won’t force the issue. 


Mentioned in this Episode:


Further Learning:


And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking

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