Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Tea And No Tea

Parliamentary maneuvering above my pay grade a bit, but Parliament has voted to make No Deal difficult, might vote to reject The Deal, leaving...well, there isn't a third option on the table so shruggy.

Theresa May has become the first British Prime Minister for 41 years to lose a vote on a finance bill after 20 Conservative MPs rebelled against the party whip and backed Yvette Cooper’s amendment, which sharply limits the government’s tax-raising powers in the event of a no deal Brexit. What does it mean for the resolution of the Brexit crisis?

Although Cooper’s amendment was billed as “preventing no deal”, as she herself freely conceded in the House, the amendment itself does no such thing. In fact, by limiting the government’s powers to raise revenue, it sharpens the rocks at the bottom of the ravine rather than pulls the country away from the cliff edge. But the amendment has two important implications. The first is that it gives Parliament an opportunity to avert a no deal exit at the eleventh hour if the need arises. The second is that, as it was billed and seen by MPs as an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the parliamentary majority against a no deal exit it gives us a sense of the size of that majority – and its limitations.