A very shabby climb down to avoid a telling defeat.
It is difficult this morning to resist being overwhelmed and taken it by the euphoric nonsense spewing forth in the headlines on the front pages of certain of our national newspapers, who have have historically been less than enthusiastic on the question of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union. The Mail, the Telegraph, the Express and the rest of the usual suspects scream out at us with such hysterical absurdities as, "Victory for PM. Commons back May on Brexit", or "Hooray. MP's say Yes to EU exit" or "MP's hand May a blank cheque for Brexit" and perhaps the most preposterous headline of them all screeching, "BREXIT VICTORY: Remoaner plot CRUSHED as MPs vote to APPROVE triggering of Article 50". The standards of British newspaper reporting have deteriorated noticeably over recent decades, but this mornings front-page offerings and associated reports have sunk to even lower levels of wretched depravity.
|Ken Clarke mocked the PM: We will be told the 'plan is for a red white and blue Brexit... we need a white paper.'|
The reality of what happened yesterday in the House of Commons, which incidentally cannot be taken in isolation from the government appeal taking place a few hundred yards away in the Supreme Court, is that the government, and Theresa May in particular, avoided an embarrassing, perhaps even terminal defeat on a motion moved by the Labour party. Notwithstanding the fact that the motion is in any case non binding, the Prime Minister faced the disturbing prospect of at least 40 of her own MP's going into the lobby with the opposition, which would have resulted in a crushing government defeat.
Peel away the layers of rhetoric and spurious nonsense in today's papers and we are left with the truth of what actually took place. The Labour party tabled a motion calling on the government to clarify its intentions in respect of triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. It quickly became apparent that a telling number of Conservative MP's were not only prepared to abstain on any vote, but had the intention to actually vote against the government whips and support the motion. The Prime Minister and her government were then forced to table an amendment to the Labour motion, which the conservative rebels were able to support and when Labour accepted the amendment a government defeat was avoided.
|Keir Starmer presses for 'detailed' Brexit plan|
It is difficult to extrapolate from these events, how the British press can push out such arrant hogwash as that on today's front pages. The alchemists of the media and those on the benches of government, are seeking to create a "stunning victory" for Theresa May and the Brexit camp within her government, out of what was nothing more than a shabby climb down and about turn to avoid a commons defeat.
The true "winners" arising from yesterday's events and votes are the Labour party who have now forced the hand of the government into revealing intent and programme in respect of commencing negotiations.
|It is not over yet.|
Judging by the stories in today's papers, it would be easy to come to the view that this matter is finalised and it is now a "done deal". Nothing could be further from the truth. There is much water to pass under the bridge before the Untied Kingdom (or what may be left of it at the time), finally leaves (or does not leave), the European Union.