ON TUESDAY night prime minister Theresa May suffered a humiliating defeat on a vote on the Tory finance bill – when an amendment which gives the majority of MPs opposed to Britain leaving the EU the power to effectively shut parliament down by stopping the government from spending money or raising taxes to finance a No Deal Brexit.
This amendment backed by the Labour Party with a three line whip imposed was carried with 303 for and 296 against. A majority was achieved when 20 Tory MPs voted with Labour and other opposition parties to defeat their own government. These were no maverick backbench Tory MPs but senior Tories, including 17 former cabinet ministers.
What we saw on Tuesday night was in effect the emergence of a fast developing coalition between leading Tories and the right-wing of the Labour Party, united in their determination to launch a parliamentary coup to overturn the result of the referendum – a referendum that was supposed to be binding and that every political party had pledged to carry out.
Tuesday night was just the start of this campaign, with leading Tory Remainer Nicky Morgan describing it as ‘the opening salvo of the green bench guerrilla war’ to prevent Brexit.
Yesterday this guerrilla war stepped up when the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, allowed an amendment to be heard which states that if May’s Brexit deal is defeated in a vote due next week then she will have just three days to come back with another deal.
Given that May’s Brexit deal, which keeps Britain in the Customs Union and Single Market indefinitely, is universally hated by the majority of MPs her defeat is virtually inevitable.
The amendment was passed, meaning that May will have just three days to conjure out of thin air a new deal with the bureaucracy in Brussels acceptable to this new anti-Brexit coalition determined to stop Brexit in its tracks. This isn’t ‘guerrilla warfare’ but a move to impose a Parliamentary dictatorship over the workers and the middle class who voted decisively to break with the EU.
They have completely torn away the facade of bourgeois Parliamentary democracy and exposed it for what it really is – the rule of the bosses and bankers where the will of the people can be overridden when it conflicts with the interests of the capitalist class. This was clear when Bercow accepted this amendment from Tory MP Dominic Grieve for debate.
The Speaker’s own parliamentary expert advisors told him that this amendment was ‘not selectable’ for the reason that it breaks the legally binding EU Withdrawal Act which established a definite leave date of March 29, 2019. Under Grieve’s amendment there would be a constant vote every three days until May finally throws in the towel and declares Brexit dead.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced that if May is defeated over the Brexit deal next week then he will immediately table a motion of no confidence in the government and, if passed, force a general election.
But the emergence of this coalition between Tory Remainers and Labour right-wingers poses sharply the question of what parties will contest this election? What is being prepared behind the scenes is for the formation of a new party of ‘national salvation’ to save a decaying British capitalism by clinging to the wreckage of the bosses’ and bankers’ EU.
In order to ‘save’ capitalism the fraud of bourgeois democracy is being torn apart to be replaced with the naked dictatorship of the capitalist class. What is undeniable is that the only way to carry out the will of the people and break with the EU is through socialist revolution. Indeed socialist revolution is the only way to defend any of the rights of the working class today.
Britain has reached a huge turning point in its history with the only way forward for workers and youth being to take power and expropriate the bosses and bankers and advance to socialism in the UK and throughout Europe. This requires the immediate building of the WRP and Young Socialists to lead this struggle for power to victory.