'The crushing defeat by 391 to 242 at the second time of asking of the British prime minister's Brexit plan surely cooks the goose of the plan but also bastes her ready for roasting.
The mighty labour, late night flights and all, has brought forth a mouse. She gave it her best shot but she has now been decisively rejected by record parliamentary majorities on two occasions. In any normal polity the leader at least would already be gone.
But as she croaked – it is her misfortune that laryngitis strikes her at the least opportune times – her determination to carry on regardless one side of the Commons laughed at the comedy of it all and most of the other half sank into their seats.
What happens next in the short term is easy to predict. A "No deal" Brexit will be rejected Wednesday evening but only thanks to opposition votes. She released her own MPs from party discipline by announcing a "free-vote" because she could not countenance at least half of her own side voting for No Deal (not least because they were all elected on precisely that platform). But the government's own members – the so-called "payroll vote" of a hundred plus, together with almost all of the opposition members will comfortably (for now) bury the "zero-option" of No-Deal.
The next night the House will vote again comfortably in favour of seeking an extension of Article 50 thereby abandoning the pledge repeated like a mantra so often that Britain would leave the EU on March 29th. Assuming the EU agrees Britain then sails not just into uncharted waters but an uncharted raging torrent of bitterness, confusion, currency tumult, uncertainty and certain political change.
Referendums in Britain change things for a generation as the aftermath of the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum shows. Political forces are unleashed, defeat is never accepted, never mind the victors of the referendum being denied as is the case with Brexit. All of the conditions which produced the Brexit result continue to obtain except where they have gotten more sharp. Austerity plus "free-movement" of largely cheap labour from eastern Europe plus fury at the perceived unreasonableness of our European "partners". If the EU was hated by 17.4 million people on Referendum Day it only got more visceral not less.'
Read more: Theresa May's heart was never in it – and now she is done and dusted
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13 September 2019
Exclusive: Juncker brands Britons ‘part-time Europeans’ who were never fully in the union
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