UK Parliament Revolts Against Hard Brexit

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 1/09/2019 08:07:00 PM
A true British patriot recognizes the UK's geographic location on a certain continent.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is a difficult one to pin down. While she was home minister for David Cameron (remember him?) during the run-up to the ill-fated 2016 Brexit vote, she decided to support Cameron's position to remain in the EU. After replacing him, though, she became famous for the pithy statement that "Brexit means Brexit." To be fair, she is stuck between an EU unwilling to make many compromises lest others see that they can leave the EU and still benefit from many of the privileges of membership and hardline Brexit elements in her party.

Still, it seems a revolt is brewing among nearly everyone else not as prone to suicidal behavior. Like a moth to the flame. The past two days have witnesses a cross-party revolt against crashing out of the EU with no preferential agreements. Yesterday, opposition stalwart Yvette Cooper's motion to deny May's government of taxation powers in the event a Brexit deal is not agreed to. Instead, parliament must be consulted:
Theresa May's no-deal Brexit preparations suffered a blow after MPs defeated the Government in the Commons. Labour former minister Yvette Cooper tabled an amendment to the Budget-enacting Finance (No. 3) Bill which attracted support from Tory rebels. Her proposal aims to restrict the Government's freedom to use the Bill to make tax changes linked to a no-deal Brexit without the "explicit consent" of Parliament. It was supported by 303 votes to 296, a majority of seven.

In a statement outside the Commons, [Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn] said the vote in support of the amendment was "an important step to prevent a no-deal Brexit". He said: "It shows that there is no majority in Parliament, the Cabinet or the country for crashing out of the EU without an agreement. That is why we are taking every opportunity possible in Parliament to prevent no deal.
I am no fan of the old-school Labour (read: pre-Third Way, unabashed socialist) leader Jeremy Corbyn, but it appears he is, for now, an ally in the effort to stop a hard Brexit--as is anyone else willing to vote it down at this point.

Today we had a second round of good news (if you're anti-Brexit, that is). The half-baked deal May came away with from meeting with her EU counterparts is likely going to voted down next week. In that event, the cross-party rebellion is now forcing the government to come up with a "Plan B" within 3 days instead of 21 days:
Rebel Conservative MPs have joined forces with Labour to inflict a fresh blow on Theresa May's government in a Commons Brexit vote. It means the government will have to come up with revised plans within three days if Mrs May's EU withdrawal deal is rejected by MPs next week.

It could also open the door to alternatives, such as a referendum. No 10 said Mrs May's deal was in the national interest but if MPs disagreed, the government would "respond quickly".
To be fair once more, I think that a three-day timetable to come up with a "Plan B" is unrealistic. That said, having exhausted nearly all other options, pro-Europeans among us may finally get what we've wanted all this time--a second referendum. The harrowing experience of the post-Brexit vote era should have taught sensible Britons that only worse in store if it finally pushes through. Polling data indicates "Remain" would win this time 46%-39%, and a positive outcome should put a stop to this nonsense for awhile.

Props to Speaker John Bercow for allowing this vote to happen at the potential cost of his speakership. Once more, remaining is really on the table.