TORY PM Theresa May was defeated again by Parliament on Thursday evening. A motion put forward to support the government’s Brexit strategy fell, with 303 MPs voting against the motion, 258 for, and with 66 Tory MPs abstaining. MPs demonstrated what they think of May’s strategy, to return again and again to the European Union, begging them to throw her a bone over the Backstop.
The Labour Party’s amendment sought to ‘stop the government from running down the clock’ by giving it a deadline: pass a deal by February 26th, or hold another meaningful vote. Or ‘let Parliament take control of the process’. This was also defeated!
So both a government attempt to further capitulate to the EU and an attempt by Labour to give Parliament the power to stop Brexit in its tracks were both thrown out, leaving one option only – leave the EU with no deal.
May nevertheless has vowed to return to Brussels and attempt again to secure ‘legal assurances’ over the Backstop, which would of course require re-opening the Withdrawal Agreement. The EU, however, has said time and time again that this is out of the question.
Re-opening the Withdrawal Agreement is something that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled out point blank. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani was also unequivocal, he said: ‘Of course it is impossible for us to change the content of the Withdrawal Agreement.’
And European Council President Donald Tusk made his position clear when he said: ‘I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.’
The Tory Party is split from top to bottom, with the Boris Johnson wing of the party demanding that the permanent aspect of the Backstop is removed. He said: ‘The Backstop means that you are in the Customs Union, you cannot do free trade deals, Brussels is running your trade policy, you are collecting tariffs and sending 80% of the value to Brussels; you are effectively a colony of the EU.’
Steve Baker, of the Conservative backbench European Research Group, which led the rebellion defeating May on Thursday night issued the Prime Minister a dire warning yesterday, claiming her government will ‘collapse’ if the draft Withdrawal Agreement is voted on in the Commons.
Baker warned: ‘Were this deal to pass through Parliament with this Backstop, the government would subsequently collapse because the DUP will not be able to maintain confidence and supply if this deal goes through.’
Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is attempting to hold his divided party together. Last week, he sent a letter to May outlining his proposals for ‘finding a deal that can command support in Parliament and be negotiated with the EU’. He said that if May agrees to a permanent Customs Union, he would vote for her deal. She sent a letter back saying that although she cannot support a permanent Customs Union, she was ‘grateful to you for meeting me last week, for your letter setting out your position in more detail and for the offer of further discussions’.
Labour right-wing Remainers fear that at the last minute Corbyn will do a ‘Ramsay Mac’, vote with May, pushing her Brexit deal with the EU over the line and then forming a ‘national government’ to save the ‘bourgeois nation’ in the process.
In fact, the bourgeois parliamentary order is breaking apart. A group of Remainer Labour MPs, dubbed the ‘splitters’ who demand a second referendum, say they will break from Labour in just days, while Remainer Tories are yelling at Rees Mogg and Co that they should join Nigel Farage’s new ‘Brexit’ party.
May is desperate for a compromise, while fear of ‘no deal’ may well bring Corbyn and the majority of Corbyn’s Labour Party ‘to their senses’, to carry out their national duty and vote for the EU-May deal and form a national government.
The working class in its trade unions must now move into action to warn Corbyn that he must not sell out Brexit, and that the Brexit revolution must be completed on March 29 by the UK leaving the EU.
This must be the start of the British socialist revolution, that will expropriate the UK bosses and the bankers to bring in socialism, and join hands with the workers of France, Italy, Greece, and Germany to put an end to the EU and bring in the Socialist United States of Europe!