On Tuesday, Parliament will vote on Theresa May’s deal. This is the most important vote Parliament has cast in a number of decades. Yet, the result is already factored in. No-one believes that Theresa May can win. The focus has instead turned to what will happen after the vote.
Now in order to discuss what will happen next, we need to understand where we currently stand. Legally, No Deal remains the default option. The legislation has already been passed which means Britain will leave the European Union on the 29th March. The Government could seek to extend Article 50 or pass further legislation. But as of yet the Government has not exercised either of these options.
As we have seen this week, No Deal is far from Parliament’s preferred option. The Government’s defeats this week on the Cooper and Grieve amendments are testament to this. However, it is unclear what other mechanisms Parliament has at its disposal without voting for a deal to stop No Deal. So we then come back to Theresa May’s deal.
It is clear there isn’t a great deal of enthusiasm for Theresa May’s deal as it stands. There is a possibility the EU could offer further concessions or guarantees. However, I think we can assume the general crux of the deal will remain the same. So why do I believe the deal will pass?
Well, firstly because I believe the Government will continue to bring the deal back to Parliament even after it is defeated. The general consensus appears to be forming that Theresa May will seek to have more than one go at passing the deal. This of course then enhances the possibility of the Deal being passed.
And secondly and more importantly, I think it will soon be viewed as the least bad option. The clock is ticking down and there are still not the numbers in Parliament for a second referendum and without Government support, MPs will be able to extend Article 50. Therefore pro-European MPs will be faced with unpalatable choice, No Deal or Theresa May’s deal.
In this scenario in a bid to prevent No Deal, MPs will be faced with no other option than to vote for Theresa May’s deal. In the end, it will be this simple realisation which will force the deal through. Least bad option. Probably the nicest thing MPs can say about the deal.
Article by Mike Hough