May's Speech Promoting "Meaningful Vote #4" Flops Splendidly
Theresa May just won't give up, and she looks like a complete fool in the process.
In her speech today promoting meaningful vote number 4 (politely called reading number two), she attempted to please fence sitters on both sides.
May offered changes on the customs union (that the EU would have to agree with), and to please Remainers, she promised the "possibility" of a referendum.
The end result is she lost support from both sides judging from the responses in the Guardian Live Blog and Tweets.
Ten More Tories Oppose
Not Brexit - Worse Than Before
Guardian Comment: There is a rule in journalism that, if someone frames a headline in the form of a question, it is normally best to assume the answer is no. But in this case, if you read Laura Kuenssberg’s blog, you will find that this is a rare example of a question mark being used to understate what an article is saying, not overstate it.
Losing More Support
Guardian Comment: Theresa May could afford to lose some Tory MPs who previously backed her agreement if, at the same time, she were picking up more Labour MPs. But there is no evidence that she is. If anything, it’s the opposite. The Labour MP Lisa Nandy is one of the backbenchers Downing Street hoped might be won over. Nandy was a strong supporter of the Gareth Snell amendment that the government has adopted. But, according to ITV’s Paul Brand, Nandy is still opposed to the bill.
It's Now Unanimous
In a clip for broadcasters Jeremy Corbyn said Labour could not support this bill because it was basically a “rehash” of what had been offered before.
The prime minister’s proposal tonight seems to be largely a rehash of the government’s position in the cross party talks that failed to reach a compromise last week.
On key elements - customs, market alignment and environmental protections - what the prime minister calls her new Brexit deal is effectively a repackaging of the same old bad deal, rejected three times by parliament.
We will of course look seriously at the details of the withdrawal agreement bill when it is published. But we won’t back a repackaged version of the same old deal - and it’s clear that this weak and disintegrating government is unable deliver on its own commitments.
Liberal Democrats (Remainers) Oppose
Sir Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, has put out this statement in response to Theresa May’s speech. He said:
The prime minister’s last ditch attempt to get her withdrawal agreement through the Commons without a confirmatory referendum attached is doomed to failure. Her authority is draining away.
Unless and until the government concedes that a people’s vote must be in the legislation, she will not win our support.
Peoples' Vote (Remainers) Oppose
The People’s Vote campaign has dismissed Theresa May’s offer to let MPs have a vote on a second referendum. It has put this statement from the Labour MP Dame Margaret Beckett, who supports its campaign. She said:
The prime minister’s last-ditch effort to force through her deal is no more likely to succeed than her previous attempts.
Today she tried to spice up the same old deal with a series of supposedly new concessions, but then admitted she had no way of guaranteeing that she could deliver any of them.
MPs will be rightly weary of offers from a Prime Minister who is about to resign and will probably be replaced by a hard-line successor. It would be very dangerous to vote through a deal to leave the European Union without any clear idea of our eventual destination – a blindfold Brexit that would only prolong uncertainty for families, businesses and parliament.
DUP Cites Fundamental Flaws
Responding to Theresa May’s speech, Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s leader at Westminster, said the “fundamental flaws” with her deal remained.
Mish's Special Talent Award
Theresa, wear your special talent badge proudly.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock