It’s been a week of speculation, speculation and a little more speculation.
Beneath the rumours of no deals, general elections and votes of no confidence, some big votes happened.
“It was dubbed Super Saturday, but dulled into a-little-confusing-but-slightly-bad-for-the-government-Saturday.”
MPs sat in the Commons on a weekend for the first time since 1982 in what should have been the big win for Johnson – the one where he finally pushed his Brexit deal through Parliament.
It was dubbed “Super Saturday”, but dulled into a-little-confusing-but-slightly-bad-for-the-government-Saturday.
Sir Oliver Letwin had other ideas. The MP who has continually frustrated the Brexit process showed his legal teeth again with another rain checking amendment, stalling what should have been a simple vote on the withdrawal agreement.
His amendment withheld support from Mr Johnson’s deal until the needed legislation is in place.
This prevents a no deal.
That threw a spanner into the whirling cogs of Mr Johnson’s plan to get the withdrawal agreement through Parliament, meaning he was forced to approach Brussels to seek another extension.
Despite his ‘I’d rather be dead in a ditch than ask for an extension’ rhetoric, Mr Johnson sent a letter to the EU as per a law passed earlier this autumn. But he refused to sign it and added an extra letter saying why he didn’t want an extension – he sent three in total.
The EU is yet to respond to those letters. All eyes are on France to see whether the country will reluctantly support an extension.
It’s most likely the UK will be granted a three-month flextension.
That rather ugly word means the UK would stay in the EU until 31st January – or leave earlier if a deal can be passed before that.
Passing the second reading doesn’t protect the bill from a flurry of amendments that might ground it
Later in the week, we had Super Tuesday.
By a narrow margin, the second reading of the bill passed. That was a surprise to some, but rather sceptical eyes have seen it as a way for Labour MPs from Leave constituencies to say they have supported Brexit legislation whilst canvassing at the almost inevitable general election.
Passing the second reading doesn’t protect the bill from a flurry of amendments that might ground it, known as filibustering – in less syllables, stalling a bill by throwing amendments and procedure at it.
Still, Boris Johnson pushed his deal further than Theresa May ever managed and, for a moment, it was all looking good for him – then the Parliamentary brakes slammed on and halted the process.
MPs voted down the Prime Minister’s timetable for the bill to pass through Parliament, most arguing there wasn’t enough time to scrutinise it.
The deal is now at committee stage and talks between Mr Corbyn and Mr Johnson for a new timetable have failed – the bill’s procession through Parliament is hanging in limbo. So, too, is Parliament itself, teetering between no deal and another extension.
For a simple gif explainer, check our Twitter thread (you can thank us later):
Confused about Brexit – aren’t we all? Here’s a catch up of the week so far from @KiraTaylor15
— TruthFal (@TruthFal) October 24, 2019